Article| Volume 26, ISSUE 2, P118-125, March 2012

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The Experiences of School-Age Children With a Tracheostomy

Published:August 13, 2010DOI:



      The purpose of this study was to explore the school-age child's perspective about living with a tracheostomy.

      Design and methods

      A qualitative design using phenomenological methods was used to describe and interpret the lived experiences of school-age children with a tracheostomy.


      The perceptions of five children were explored, and three themes emerged: “I'm the only one,” “friends are helpful,” and “just tell them.”


      Data indicated that encouraging friendships with other children enhances the well-being of the child with a tracheostomy. In addition, data suggested that when schoolmates understand the experiences of children with tracheostomies, they are supportive of the child. Nurse practitioners are in a unique position to assist the child with a tracheostomy in the development of peer networks.

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      Regena Spratling, Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, GA.


      Ptlene Minick, Associate Professor, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.


      Myra Carmon, Associate Professor, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.