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Narratives and Embodied Knowing in the NICU

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The author draws on narratives as an illustration of embodied knowledge and argues for the importance of using embodied knowing to inform ethical decisions in the neonatal setting. Nurses have a unique perspective of the complex care associated with neonatal intensive care (NIC). NIC nurses listen to parent's stories and share their own practice stories, leading to an intimate appreciation of a family's particular response to their health care experience. These narratives can deepen understanding of how nurses go about doing their everyday work, describe experiences in everyday practice, and help the writer come to terms with traumatic events. Moreover, nurses' narratives provide a voice, an expression of their embodied knowledge. By telling and listening to nurses' stories, we can better understand how embodied knowledge supports families in crisis. The narratives in this article are examples of the challenges neonatal nurses face in using embodied knowing to enhance relationships with families. These narratives may help nurses to reflect on their practice and cultivate relationships with families in the NICU.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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