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

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

Vahid Zamanzadeh et al. Asian Nurs Res (Korean Soc Nurs Sci).

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.

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