Asian Nurs Res.  2013 Jun;7(2):91-97.

Emotional Labour of Caring for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Patients: Iranian Nurses' Experiences

Affiliations
  • 1Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran. sayadi117@hotmail.com
  • 2Nursing and Midwifery care research center, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
  • 3School of Population & Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
  • 4Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

PURPOSE
The purpose of this study was to describe the emotional labour experienced by nurses who care for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) patients in Iran.
METHODS
Eighteen nurses participated in semi-structured interviews. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis methods.
RESULTS
Three main categories described the emotional labour involved, namely, emotional intimacy, feeling overwhelmed with the sadness and suffering, and changing self. Nurses had compassion for their patients, contributing to a close nurse-patient relationship. The nurses' emotional labour resulted in their feeling overwhelmed with sadness and suffering. Five subcategories described this emotional toll: (a) witnessing suffering, (b) struggling mentally, (c) hurting emotionally, (d) feeling drained of energy, and (e) escaping grief. Dealing with death and dying on an ongoing basis promoted the nurses' changing self.
CONCLUSION
Iranian nurses who care for HSCT patients experience a range of positive and negative emotions. Establishing appropriate support systems for nurses might help mediate the negative aspects of emotional labour. thereby improving nursing work life and ultimately the quality of patient care.

Keyword

caring; emotional labour; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Iran

MeSH Terms

Empathy
Grief
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Hematopoietic Stem Cells
Humans
Iran
Patient Care
Stress, Psychological
United Nations
Wit and Humor as Topic
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