FINE Europe

Malte, February 21-23, 2018
European Federation of Nurse Educators

Emotional Labour in Paediatric Nursing: a propose Model for practice guidance

Paula Diogo

Nursing School of Lisbon - Portugal

on Thursday 22 february, 2018, from 12:30 to 12:50



The health-disease processes experienced by children and youth, and their families, are often associated with intense emotionality and, simultaneously, entails a great emotional challenge for nurses in their care, requiring emotional labour of triple centrality: in the client, in the nurse and in the nurse-client relationship (Diogo, 2015). Nurses perform this emotional labour according to their personal resources and learning from the day-to-day experience of care (Smith, 2012). Moreover, this emotional dimension of nursing care continues to be undervalued by health institutions, and by nurses themselves, so that emotional labour is not always the object of reflection and/or support in scientific evidence (Diogo, 2006; Diogo, 2017). For this reason, conceptual models are needed to guide and strengthen nurses in their practice, especially when the context is peculiar as in paediatric care. Diogo (2012, 2015), in her PhD thesis presents an explanatory hypothesis of the process of therapeutic use of emotions in paediatric nursing, arguing that Emotional Labour in Paediatric Nursing translates into actions of positive transformation of emotional experience in interactions care with paediatric client, through five categories of intervention: 1) Promoting a safe and affectionate environment; 2) Nurturing care with affection; 3) Facilitate client emotions management; 4) Build stability in relationship; 5) Regulate their own emotional disposition to care. This Emotional Labour Model in Pediatric Nursing was developed based on the nursing paradigm of transformation (Kérouac et al., 1996) whose central concept is Caring, supported in Watson’s Human Care theory (2002, 2008), and theorized about the ”personal knowing” (Carper, 1985; Fawcett et al., 2001). This Model also integrates the principles of family-centered care and non-traumatic care in Paediatric Nursing, such as the holistic and humanized perspective on health. At the heart of the proposed Model are the Emotional Labour of Nursing conception (Smith, 2012).

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