Child maltreatment can lead to acute and long-term consequences, and it is important that at-risk children are identified early. Child healthcare (CHC) nurses in Sweden are in a position to identify child maltreatment, as they follow children and their parents from the child's birth to school age. Therefore, the aim was to describe CHC nurses' experiences when encountering families in which child maltreatment was identified or suspected. Individual open interviews with eight CHC nurses were performed and analysed using a qualitative content analysis. Findings revealed that keeping the child in focus, while supporting the family was essential for the nurses. This family-centred approach was assumed to benefit the child's interests. Meeting families where child maltreatment was identified or suspected influenced the nurses, emotionally in different ways. Nevertheless, it was important to keep an open mind and communication build on honesty. Furthermore, the nurses requested professional supervision in order to help them learn from the situation ahead of the next time. This knowledge about CHC nurses' experiences may form a basis for the development of interventions that aim to support the CHC nurses in their professional role, and thereby improve support to children and parents in the future.
- Omvårdnad (30305)