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Table 5 Main themes of a Care Through Family approach to caring for hospitalised children

From: Distinctive nursing practices in working with mothers to care for hospitalised children at a district hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: a descriptive observational study

Preserving the mother-child pairThe goal is to ensure that the mother’s role in caring for the child continues with as little interruption as possible, with the exception of the medical event that has occurred. The normal place of care for the child is the home, and the family are their normal carers.
Enabling continuous presencePolicies and amenities are directed towards enabling the presence of mothers. Accommodation, space and amenities are organised to enable mothers’ continuous presence.
Belief and trustNurses and mothers have innate confidence in mothers’ abilities to learn and to cope, and high expectations about the speed at which they will become competent in new activities.
Psychological support and empathyEnabling mothers to be physically and psychologically present and equipped to care involves empathetic practical and psychological support and the integration of social and psychological factors alongside physical care.
Mothers as a capable resourceMothers are regarded as a resource within the healthcare system for their children in hospitals and at home by both nurses and mothers.
Sharing knowledgeThe transmission of knowledge between nurses and mothers happens through ‘being with’ and ‘being taught’. The process through which mothers become competent to manage the child’s needs outside of hospital is dynamic, and responsive to the mother’s individual situation and progress.