Family Witnessed Resuscitation: focus group inquiry into UK student nurse experiences of simulated resuscitation scenarios

David Pontin, Kenny Gerard, Issy Bray, John Albarran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

582 Downloads (Pure)


To describe the impact of family member presence on student nurse performance in a witnessed resuscitation scenario.

To explore student nurses’ attitudes to simulated family witnessed resuscitation and their views about its place in clinical practice.

Family witnessed resuscitation remains controversial worldwide. Hospital implementation remains inconsistent despite professional organisation support. Systematic reviews of international literature indicate family members wish to be involved and consulted; healthcare professionals express concerns about being observed while resuscitating. Student nurse perspectives have not been addressed.

qualitative, focus groups

Participants: UK university second-year student nurses (n=48) who participated in simulated resuscitation scenarios (either family member absent, or present but quiet, or present but distressed). Data generation 2014: Focus group interview schedule - five open-ended questions and probing techniques. Audio recordings transcribed; analysed thematically. Research ethics approval via University Research Ethics committee.

Overarching theme = students’ sense making – making sense of situation (practically/professionally), of themselves (their skills/values), and of others (patients/family members). Students identify as important – team leader allocating tasks, continuity of carer, and number of nurses needed. Three orientations to practice identified and explored -includes rule following, guidance from personal/proto-professional values, and paternalistic protectionism.

We explore issues of students’ fluency of response and skills repertoire to support family witnessed resuscitation; explanatory potential to account for the inconsistent uptake of family witnessed resuscitation. Possible future lines of inquiry include family members’ gaze as a motivational trigger, and management of guilt.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-77
JournalBMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2016


  • family witnessed resuscitation
  • simulation
  • qualitative research
  • student nurses
  • resuscitation
  • nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Family Witnessed Resuscitation: focus group inquiry into UK student nurse experiences of simulated resuscitation scenarios'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this