The perspectives of intensive care unit nurses about the current and ideal nursing end-of-life care
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 18, 3, (2016), pp. 212-218
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing
The role of intensive care unit (ICU) nurses during end-of-life care (EOLC) is not always clear. Therefore, insight into their experiences and perspectives is warranted. The aim of this study was to determine how EOLC could be improved, by knowing the differences in the current EOLC according to ICU nurses and the way ICU nurses would like to provide EOLC. A qualitative study of 20 ICU nurses was performed. They were interviewed about their experiences with and perspectives on EOLC. Intensive care unit nurses were quite satisfied with the care they provided, but their description of the ideal situation differed from the current situation. The interviews resulted in 5 themes: (1) collaboration with other professionals; (2) communication between ICU nurses, ICU patients, and relatives; (3) nursing care for ICU patients; (4) nursing care for relatives of ICU patients; and (5) organizational aspects of EOLC. According to ICU nurses, EOLC is performed reasonably well, but some aspects are lacking that hinder optimal EOLC. The following issues for ICU nurses were identified: (1) need for an active role in multidisciplinary decision making, (2) sufficient knowledge of EOLC, (3) a checklist for nursing activities in EOLC, and (4) more time for caring for the patient and family. If those issues can be resolved, EOLC would improve according to the ICU nursing professionals.
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