Group Dream Work: A Holistic Resource for Oncology Nurses

Marlene Zichi Cohen

Mickey Bumbaugh

ONF 2004, 31(4), 817-824. DOI: 10.1188/04.ONF.817-824

Purpose/Objectives: To explore dream work as a possible means for nurses to increase self-understanding and problem solving in personal and professional life.

Design: Hermeneutic phenomenologic, descriptive, and interpretive.

Setting: A comprehensive cancer center in the southern United States.

Sample: Six nurses with a mean age of 40 and 1-10 years of oncology nursing experience.

Methods: Interviews, guided by descriptive and interpretive phenomenology, were conducted with nurses before and one and six months after they participated in eight weekly sessions of a group focused on dream work. Phenomenologic analysis was done on verbatim transcriptions of all interviews.

Findings: Nurses found value in participating in dream groups, including having more open discussions about feelings and death, managing difficult situations, and attending to patients in the present.

Conclusions: The value of learning to attend to dreams may be subtle but has value to nurses.

Implications for Nursing: Incorporating dream work is one holistic intervention that may be useful to improve job satisfaction, communication, and relationships in this time of nursing shortage.

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