Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
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.
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.