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J Emerg Nurs. 2017 Jan;43(1):40-48. doi: 10.1016/j.jen.2015.08.017. Epub 2015 Sep 26.

Rural Emergency Nurses' End-of-Life Care Obstacle Experiences: Stories from the Last Frontier.

Author information

1
Provo, UT. Electronic address: renea@byu.edu.
2
Provo, UT.

Abstract

Rural emergency nurses face unique obstacles to providing quality end-of-life (EOL) care. Stories provided by emergency nurses embody their most difficult EOL care obstacles.

METHODS:

A questionnaire was sent to 53 rural hospitals. Respondents were asked to share stories that epitomized the obstacles faced while providing EOL care in the rural emergency setting.

RESULTS:

The lack of an ideal death (eg, the nurse personally knows the patient, issues with family members, and unknown patient wishes) was the top obstacle. Other reported obstacles were insufficient ED staff and power struggles between nurses and physicians.

DISCUSSION:

Rural emergency nurses often provide EOL care to friends and family members, whereas their urban counterparts are likely to transfer care to nurses with no relation to the dying patient. Not only does caring for patients whom the nurse knows or is related to cause great distress to rural emergency nurses, but this unfortunately common situation also may prevent patients from receiving the highest quality EOL care.

KEYWORDS:

Emergency; Emergency nurse; End of life; Obstacles; Rural; Rural nursing

PMID:
26409657
DOI:
10.1016/j.jen.2015.08.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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