A case analysis of nurse voice in the context of paediatric acute illness




Dryden-Palmer, Karen

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Nurses who have cared for a hospitalized child suffering the rapid deterioration of an acute illness speak of challenges in having their voices heard in clinical care arenas. The case that is analyzed in this paper is a composite of stories told by bedside nurses working in a tertiary care hospital in a large Canadian city. Foucault’s work on subject and power will ground a historic and social critique of the case. Questions for the analysis are drawn from the theoretical frameworks of Benner and Nightingale. Alternative solutions and possibilities for nurse action which will enhance the nursing voice are identified. This case analysis will contribute to a richer understanding of how the nursing voice is taken up in front line paediatric care. The reader may take the questions posed and possibilities generated in this case analysis to pursue a critique of the historical assumptions and power relationships which shape nursing practice in their particular setting.



nurse voice, failure to rescue, paediatric, acute illness