Unscheduled conversations with parents in Neonatal Intensive Care
Noort, C. van
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Title: Unscheduled conversations with parents in neonatal intensive care Background: Parents often speak to nurses at their infant’s bedside and have indicated that these conversations can be very important. During these unscheduled conversations, nurses make parents feel confident in their parental role and increase their activation and involvement in caring for their infant. Strengthening the parent-infant bonding contributes to physical, psychological and emotional development of their infant. Aim: From a parent’s perspective identifying nature, content, value, and impact of unscheduled conversations among parents and nurses and how these conversations inform planning infant care and involvement in caring for the infant in order to empower parents. Method: A descriptive qualitative study using semi-structured web-based interviews was conducted among parents who had a premature infant admitted to the NICU. Thematic analysis was performed. Results: Twelve parents of fourteen infants between 26-39 gestational age were included. Parents searched for trust in issues they heard when they were bedside at their infant. Once they gained this feeling of trust, they talked about their personal life, well-being and thoughts. Parents heard how to provide basic care which strengthened them in being in control over their infant; they got empowered in their parental role. Conclusion: Parents established a relationship with nurses as they searched for trust during unscheduled conversations. Words of encouragement and support provided parents the opportunity to collaborate in providing infant care and make decisions regarding their infant. Parents became independent and in control over their infant. Recommendations: Implication for practice contains the importance of nurses creating parental awareness regarding self-care during admission to remain powerful in providing care for their infant. Furthermore, nurses should become aware regarding value and importance of unscheduled conversations. Further research is needed to determine the strategies of creating this awareness.