A psychotherapeutic exploration of nurse experience in oncology wards

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Daly, Greg
Issue Date
MA in Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
The aim of this study was to explore the experience of working as an oncology nurse from a psychotherapeutic perspective. To do this a qualitative study was carried out. Five nurses with at least 2 years’ experience were interviewed using semi structured interviews. This was transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis allowing 3 themes to emerge from the data. The findings suggest that oncology nursing is emotionally taxing work but is also experienced as being extremely rewarding. Patient and peer relationships are of particular significance. To create the best conditions for a positive experience there are steps the nurse can take individually in terms of self-care. There are also ways management and the hospital system can operate to minimise anxiety for the nurse. It is in everyone’s interest to achieve this as it will likely lead to better health for the nurse and a better standard of care provided.