A Muffled Clamour: Turning up the Volume on Children’s Stories of Pain and Illness
Children have been trying to tell us things for years, but we haven’t always been listening to them. And even when we do listen, we can be guilty of trivializing or disbelieving their accounts. The stories children tell about pain and illness cut to the heart of things that affect them. By creating opportunities to learn about the ‘worms’ in a child’s head, their sense that they are ‘being rubbed out’ or the ‘poison moving through [their] veins’, we gain insight into their experiences.
Using children’s stories and artwork as a starting point, Professor Bernie Carter’s Inaugural Lecture will explore how pain and illness can shape children’s lives, how they resist these changes and ultimately how their stories and pictures can help deepen our understanding of the meanings they make. This knowledge enriches nursing care.
Bernie is a children’s nurse who has worked clinically within children’s surgery, neonatal, and children’s intensive care settings. In practice she found there to be more questions than answers, which led to the start of her research career.
Professor Carter joined the Faculty of Health and Social Care at Edge Hill University in February 2016 to lead the Children, Young People and Families Research Group. She is the Director of the Children’s Nursing Research Unit at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, and the Director of Circle, an international research collaboration of children’s nurses.
Bernie has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles, written and edited books on pain and children’s nursing, including Stories of Children’s Pain. She is Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Child Health Care and a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing.