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Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2016 Apr;33:30-8. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2015.11.002. Epub 2016 Jan 12.

Intensive care nurses' experiences of end-of-life care.

Author information

1
Department of Nursing Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Park Town 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa. Electronic address: ljkisorio@yahoo.co.uk.
2
Department of Nursing Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Park Town 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa. Electronic address: Gayle.Langley@wits.ac.za.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To explore intensive care nurses' experiences of end-of-life care in adult intensive care units.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

An exploratory, descriptive qualitative approach was utilised. Purposive sampling method was used to select nurse participants (n=24) working at the selected intensive care units in the three academic affiliated, tertiary specialist hospitals in the Johannesburg and Pretoria regions, South Africa. Using a focus group guide, three focus group discussions were conducted. Data were analysed using the long-table approach (Krueger and Casey, 2000). Trustworthiness of the study was ensured by following the criteria set out by Lincoln and Guba (1985).

FINDINGS:

Five major themes related to nurses' experiences of end-of-life care emerged. These included: "difficulties we experience", "discussion and decision making", "support for patients", "support for families" and "support for nurses".

CONCLUSION:

End-of-life care can be difficult and a challenging process. Nevertheless, this study has highlighted some of the interventions and support systems that could be incorporated for improved caring process. Whereas the dying patients and their families need to be continuously supported, critical care nurses too need to be taken care of for them to continue providing the best possible end-of-life care.

KEYWORDS:

End-of-life care; Intensive care; Nurses’ experiences of end-of-life; Palliative care; Withdrawal and withholding of treatment

PMID:
26791353
DOI:
10.1016/j.iccn.2015.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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