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Family-witnessed resuscitation: focus group inquiry into UK student nurse experiences of simulated resuscitation scenarios

Pontin, David; Kenny, Gerard; Bray, Issy; Albarran, John


David Pontin

Gerard Kenny

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Issy Bray
Associate Professor in Public Health (Epidemiology)

John Albarran


© Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. Aims To describe the impact of family members' presence on student nurse performance in a witnessed resuscitation scenario. To explore student nurses' attitudes to simulated family-witnessed resuscitation and their views about its place in clinical practice. Background Family-witnessed resuscitation remains controversial worldwide. Hospital implementation remains inconsistent despite professional organisation support. Systematic reviews of international literature indicate family members wish to be involved and consulted; healthcare professionals express concerns about being observed while resuscitating. Student nurse perspectives have not been addressed. Design Qualitative, focus groups. Methods Participants: UK university second-year student nurses (n=48) who participated in simulated resuscitation scenarios (family member absent, family member present but quiet or family member present but distressed). Data generation 2014: focus group interview schedule - five open-ended questions and probing techniques. Audio recordings transcribed, analysed thematically. Research ethics approval via University Research Ethics committee. Findings Overarching theme=students' sense making - making sense of situation (practically/professionally), of themselves (their skills/values) and of others (patients/family members). Students identify as important team leader allocating tasks, continuity of carer and number of nurses needed. Three orientations to practice are identified and explored - includes rule following, guidance from personal/proto-professional values and paternalistic protectionism. Discussion We explore issues of students' fluency of response and skills repertoire to support family-witnessed resuscitation; explanatory potential to account for the inconsistent uptake of family-witnessed resuscitation. Possible future lines of inquiry include family members' gaze as a motivational trigger, and management of guilt.


Pontin, D., Kenny, G., Bray, I., & Albarran, J. (2016). Family-witnessed resuscitation: focus group inquiry into UK student nurse experiences of simulated resuscitation scenarios. BMJ Simulation && Technology Enhanced Learning, 2(3), 73-77.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Jun 6, 2016
Publication Date Sep 1, 2016
Journal BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning
Print ISSN 2056-6697
Electronic ISSN 2056-6697
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 3
Pages 73-77
Keywords family witnessed resuscitation, simulation, resuscitation, qualitative research, student nurses
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