Date of Award

Winter 1-27-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Whitney McIntyre Miller

Second Advisor

Penny S. Bryan

Third Advisor

Michael Andersen

Fourth Advisor

Dawn Hunter


Pediatric oncology nurses can develop hazardous feelings of burnout over decades of clinical practice (Boyle & Bush, 2018). Interventions that help decrease burnout and improve professional development are reflective practices (Caldwell & Grobbel, 2013). Currently, there is a paucity of information on pediatric oncology nurses with 10 or more years of experience and how they use self-reflection to cope with workplace stressors. The purpose of this study was to explore how expert-level pediatric oncology nurses describe their experiences using self-reflective practices in the clinical setting. An interview-based exploration of the lived experiences of participants was necessary to understand the unique self-reflective practices currently used among nurses. Descriptive phenomenological methods were used, and data were organized and analyzed using the modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method (Moustakas, 1994). Convenience and snowball sampling procedures were used. Six nurses fit the inclusion criteria and consented to participate in this study. Each participant completed three interviews. Results of the study were arranged in two categories: (a) the experience of using self-reflective practices in the clinical setting and (b) the experience of using self-reflective practices away from the clinical setting. In the clinical setting, experienced pediatric oncology nurses used self-reflection to develop better ways of interacting with patients, families, and colleagues. Using self-reflection to cope with stress and burnout occurred less in the clinical setting and more when experienced nurses reflected with other nurses, had moments of solitude, or when they were driving home from work. These results have implications for current nursing educators and nurses looking to develop skillsets to help reduce the harmful effects of stress and burnout in the clinical setting and maintain a productive career.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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