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Pregnancy, high-risk, Nurse-patient relations, Nursing theory, Perception



  1. Thornburg, Patricia PhD, RN


Purpose: To better understand the lived experience of "waiting" among women who are hospitalized during the antepartum period.


Study Design and Methods: Phenomenology based on Parse's theory of human becoming. Audiotapes were made of dialogues between the participants and the researcher. Participants were asked to respond to this question: "Tell me what your experience of `waiting' is like." The sample consisted of 14 hospitalized women.


Results: Unpredictable as well as paradoxical realities of waiting evolved that differed person to person, yet each participant's dialogue reflected waiting as an enduring vigil of burdening toil while engaging-disengaging with close others in cherishing the can-be.


Clinical Implications: Listening to what antepartum women really feel about waiting can give direction to nursing care. Women wanted to know that nurses supported their efforts to carry their babies to full term. This study helps us to see that although most of western society does not value waiting, perhaps there is unseen value in waiting. The women in this study realized the agony of waiting, but understood its importance for the health of their babies. Research such as this which encourages active listening and reflecting on women's stories can help to improve nursing practice and healthcare for women.