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Neuroscience nurses caring for family members of patients with acquired brain injury in acute ward settings: nursing defensively in a double bind

Linda Yetman
Canadian Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 2008, 30 (4): 26-33
19146205
This article presents the findings from a doctoral research study that led to the development of an inductively derived substantive theory, "Nursing Defensively". This theory describes the process of coping used by staff nurses when caring for family members of acquired brain injury (ABI) patients. This study was conducted in two acute care teaching and one non-teaching neuroscience wards in Toronto, Canada, using grounded theory method. A total of 20 registered nurses participated in the study. Supporting data are presented to permit the reader to "hear" the voices of the nurses caring for families of ABI patients in today's clinical environments. In addition, the author's interpretation of the significance of the findings for nursing is offered for the reader's reflection for applicability to relevant clinical environments and a call for clinical leadership in practice, education and research.

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