Mei-Hua Yang, Sonja Mcilfatrick
International Journal of Palliative Nursing, Vol. 7, Iss. 9, 21 Sep 2001, pp 435 - 441
The experiences of nurses working in end-of-life care, particularly those caring for cancer patients in the hospice setting, have been well researched. Yet despite the fact that intensive care units (ICUs) are frequently the site of patient death, studies of the nurses working in these units are uncommon. This study was designed to provide qualitative data to explore the experiences of intensive care nurses caring for patients who are dying. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten nurses who had experience of caring for dying patients in ICUs in two teaching hospitals in Taiwan. Data were analysed using a phenomenological descriptive approach. Participantsí descriptions revealed the following core themes: considering nursesí attitudes to caring for the dying, stressors associated with this care and coping strategies that intensive care nurses adopt. The study concludes that education for ICU nurses must address these issues to facilitate better care of dying patients in the ICU.