How much compassion have I left? An exploration of occupational stress among children’s palliative care nurses.

Sharon McCloskey, Laurence Taggart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)


Nursing is a stressful occupation. While children’s palliative care nurses encounter many of the stressors in common with other nurses, this unique context of care generates specific aspects of stress that warrant further examination. This qualitative study explores the experiences of stress in nurses providing children’s palliative care in one region of the UK. In total, four focus groups took place with children’s hospice nurses, community children’s nurses and children’s nurse specialists based in the regional children’s hospital. The focus groups were taped, transcribed and analysed through the application of Newell and Burnard’s thematic content analysis methodology. Four core themes emerged: work demands; relationships, maintaining control, and support and roles. Ofparticular note were stressors associated with the sub-themes of relationships, emotional demands and ethical conflicts. Conclusions illustrating how individuals and organizations may reduce the impact of stress within nurses contributing to the palliative care of children and their families are made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-240
JournalInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


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