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  1. Butterworth, Lori MEd, MA
  2. Nasr, Annette PhD, RN
  3. Pyke-Grimm, Kimberly A. PhD, RN, CNS, CPHON
  4. Swisher, Darcy BSN, RN
  5. Johnson, Kelly PhD, RN, NEA-BC


OBJECTIVE: This study explored the experience of pediatric ICU (PICU) nurses who volunteered at a camp for families of children and adolescents with cancer.


BACKGROUND: PICU nurses are at risk of developing symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, compassion fatigue, depression, and burnout due to exposure(s) to traumatic events. Spending time with patients, families, and nurse colleagues at camp may reduce the effects of this exposure.


METHODS: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted using content analysis. Fifteen nurse participants completed a precamp questionnaire and semistructured focus groups immediately following camp. Individual interviews were conducted 6 months after camp.


RESULTS: Three categories emerged: 1) personal factors, changes in the nurses themselves; 2) patient and family factors, changes in how nurses perceived patients and families; and 3) work-related factors, relationships with colleagues.


CONCLUSIONS: Supporting PICU nurses to participate with patients, families, and colleagues outside of the hospital may reduce burnout and support nurses' well-being.