Nurses’ Challenges of Caring for Children with Intellectual Disabilities in Acute Care SettingsAyfer Aydın, Aslı Akdeniz Kudubeş, Eyşan Hanzade Umaç, Fahriye Oflaz
Objective: The purpose of this study is to better understand the challenges of nurses who care for children with intellectual disabilities (ID) in acute care settings. Materials and Methods: This is a descriptive and cross-sectional study that included 94 nurses working at pediatric wards who agreed to participate in the study. The researcher-designed, expert-evaluated survey assessed participants’ demographics and challenges while caring for children with ID. Data analysis involved descriptive statistics, correlations, and multiple linear regression analysis to determine the factors that affect the experiences of nurses who provide care for children with ID. Results: The nurses reported that they encounter various challenges while caring for a child with an ID in the hospital. These are patient and family-related challenges, nurses-related challenges, health professionals, and health system-related challenges. Conclusion: Communication and handling challenging behaviors of children with ID were specified as the most important issues. The nurses also reported that they did not have enough knowledge and education about caring for children with ID. Understanding the challenges and experiences of nurses are important for the development of services for children with intellectual disabilities at the hospital. There is a need for training, institutional arrangements, and policies to increase the quality of care for children with ID.