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Abstract

Meaningful Ethical Encounters: The Lived Experience of the Genetics Nurse

Abstract

Discoveries of the Human Genome Project, while beneficial to improving health, are accompanied by new and unique ethical concerns. The aim of this study was to describe and gain an understanding of the lived experience of genetics nurses as it relates to encountered ethical concerns. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach using van Manen’s thematic analysis was the method for this investigation. A sample of eight genetics nurses participated in the study. Seven essential themes emerged from the texts: (a) caring over time, (b) shared pain and suffering, (c) my job is to educate, empower, and equip, (d) not my decision, (e) fight for the patient, (f) anger surrounding misinformation, and (g) the complexity and conflicts of maintaining confidentiality. The findings of this study will increase the knowledge of caring for patients with genetic disorders.

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