Separation of conjoined twins: experiences of perioperative nurses and their recommendations

Martin-McDonald, K. and McIntyre, P. and Hegney, D. (2005) Separation of conjoined twins: experiences of perioperative nurses and their recommendations. International Nursing Review, 52 (1). pp. 52-59. ISSN 0020-8132

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Within an 8-month period, an unprecedented and historical first in Queensland, Australia, the perioperative nurses were members of teams involved in the surgical separation of two sets of conjoined twins. Little is known about the (dis)stress that some of these perioperative nurses experienced nor how best to support them during such experiences.
The aim of this paper is to report on the qualitative study that explored the experiences of those perioperative nurses involved in the surgical separation of cojoined twins and from their stories propose recommendations to support perioperative nurses who are confronted with such workplace experiences.
Using a narrative methodology, nine perioperative nurses shared their stories of being involved in the surgical separation of conjoined twins in Australia. Narrative and thematic analyses were conducted and recommendations to support perioperative nurses through workplace (dis)stress were identified. Participants validated the findings and recommendations.
The analyses revealed the themes of professionalism, teamwork, 'them vs. us' and emotional loads.
Discussion: The sensationalism around the rarity of conjoined twins brought an intensive intrusiveness from the world media. As a result, secrecy within the hospital about the conjoined twin cases created divisions between those perioperative nurses on the teams and those not. The processes and outcomes of the two surgical cases were in contrast to each other. For some perioperative nurses this caused distress. It is essential that professional support is offered in a way in which the perioperative nurse can take it up without fear of negative judgement.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2005 International Council of Nurses.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Nursing
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:19
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2013 05:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: conjoined twins; narrative; perioperative nurses; workplace stress
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111006 Midwifery
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111403 Paediatrics
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-7657.2004.00239.x

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