Meaningful experiences and end-of-life care in the intensive care unit: A qualitative study

This article by Stokes and colleagues was online during April 2019 in “Intensive and Critical Care Nursing”.
Objectives:  The purpose of this study was to provide a comprehensive exploration of nurses’ meaningful experiences of providing end-of-life care to patients and families in the intensive care unit (ICU). The objectives of this research were: (1) To explore what is meaningful practice for nurses regarding end-of-life care; (2) To describe how nurses create a good death in the intensive care unit and (3) To identify the challenges that nurses face that affect their meaningful experiences and ultimately the creation of a good death.
Research design:  This study utilised an interpretive phenomenological approach using Van Manen’s (1997) method.
Setting:  In-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted with six intensive care nurses employed in a 32-bed medical/surgical intensive care unit of an academic tertiary care centre in Canada.
Findings:  The overarching theme from the analysis of this experience was “being able to make a difference” which was intricately woven around contributing to a good death. Three main themes were identified and included: creating a good death, navigating the challenges and making it work.
Conclusion:  The findings reveal how intensive care nurses provide good end-of-life care and create good deaths for patients and families.
Subscribers to Intensive and Critical Care Nursing can access the full text of the article via this link.  The full text of articles from issues older than sixty days is available via this link to an archive of issues of Intensive and Critical Care Nursing.  A Rotherham NHS Athens password is required.  Eligible staff can register for an Athens password via this link.  Please speak to the library staff for more details.

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