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This research purports to uncover an aspect of clinical nursing often left unattended as parental death occurs in the clinical
setting. While the dying patient along with his/her spouse receives most of the clinical care, children in the family are often
forgotten or ignored for a variety of reasons. This clinical ignorance may subsequently cause a difficult path of bereavement
for the children after parental death. Before any significant improvement of clinical nursing care can be made to assist those
bereaved children, a genuine understanding as to how those children feel about the parental death incident must be acquired
first. Against this background and guided by hermeneutic-phenomenological method, this research was designed to explore
the embedded meaning of the bereavement experience of those children. 11 children from 11 bereaved families in Taiwan were
recruited purposively. Data collection was through semi-structured interviews and field notes. The interviews were digitally
recorded and then transcribed verbatim to form the research text. It was then analyzed via an interpretive circle, and the rigor
was assured. The findings were presented in four main themes as follows: excluded yet intruded; twisted emotional reactions;
who am I; reconstructing the family image. It is found that the bereaved children were tremendously influenced by how they
were treated during the dying stage of their parent and after the parental death. The current study may help improve the
understanding of clinical nursing in terms of extending the range and depth of dying patients??? care.
Shu-Ling Tsai has completed her PhD degree in Nursing at Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. She has been a Registered Nurse for 28 years and a clinical nursing teacher for 20 years. She is the Leader of Clinical Training Division of Nursing Department at Chang-Gung University of Science & Technology. She has published three papers in internationally-reputed journals and more than 10 journal papers in Taiwan.
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