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A Challenge - Working "with" rather than doing "to" - the RN as ENABLER



First time blogger!! I am finally gaining real clarity now about how I want to be a 'nurse' alongside parents and other caregivers who have babies in the neonatal unit. The concept family centred care needs to be fully integrated into my being. So how do I achieve this? I see colleagues genuinely trying to 'help' families by their nursing actions and yet it continues to frustrate me that some of these actions take away the parents choices and impacts on their ability to fully engage with their neonate. I thought empowerment was the key but that still implies I have the power to give away to the families. Whether I like it or not this may be true purely because of the nature of the NICU environment but it fails to truly show how I work alongside or with the families. I am now convinced that if I can integrate an enabling focus into how I want to be as a nurse I can then be a partner in the care. Any thoughts from colleagues??



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Hi Marpsie!

Just wanted to post a comment, even though I am a neonatologist...

I think you're touching upon a very important question, the differences between "helping" and truly "involving" parents. Will be interesting to read your thoughts about this! :)

This is the link to your blog, if you want to send it to colleagues and friends:


And this is the RSS-feed for your blog:


Best wishes from a sunny, yet cold, Stockholm!


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I wonder if perhaps looking at your role from the aspect of teacher, in regards to your relationships with your parents, might help to bridge the gap. Ultimately, we are the ones with the working knowledge of what's going on with their infants, while they are the ones with the intrinsic knowledge (if you will). Therefore, it can be a mutual learning experience, especially in a setting that promotes primary nursing, where you can teach each other and collaborate on what's best for the infant.

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