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Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2011 Mar-Apr;19(2):301-8.

The role of the nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit: between the ideal, the real and the possible.

[Article in English, Portuguese, Spanish]

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Escola de Enfermagem, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


The nurse is one of the professionals responsible for the care directed toward the physical, mental and social development of newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This study aimed to comprehend the experience of nurses working in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Data collection was performed in 2008, through interviews with 12 nurses working in public and private hospitals of the city of São Paulo. The units of meaning identified were grouped into three categories: Developing actions; Perceiving their actions and Expectations. The analysis was based on social phenomenology. It was concluded that the overload of activities, the reduced number of staff, the lack of materials, equipment and the need for professional improvement are the reality of the work of the nurse in this sector. To supervise the care is the possible; integral care of the newborn, involving the parents, is the ideal desired.

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