Critical care nurses may experience burnout and stress because they are caring for an increasing number of dying patients in the intensive care setting. The purpose of the qualitative, existential phenomenological research study was to explore the experiences, perceptions, and needs of critical care nurses who provided care to dying patients receiving futile medical care and how their experiences may contribute to burnout and stress. Findings revealed that critical care nurses in the study experienced aversive memories associated with scents and sounds of death in intensive care, discomfort, ethical concerns, family issues, personal issues, and physician barriers, but burnout was not discussed. The sample consisted of four critical care nurses who worked in a hospital in Northern California. Data collection was conducted by unstructured interviews, and data analysis was accomplished using thematic analysis and additionally interpreted using NVivo 10 software. Authentic experiences when caring dying patients, barriers encountered while caring for dying patients and identifying resources for nurses caring for dying patients were three themes that emerged from the data analysis. Goodness of caring with intent to stay, meaningful engagement, death feelings/perceptions/scents/sounds, personal feelings, values neutral, advocating for patients, family issues, physician barriers, developing coping skills, colleague/communication support, and end-of-life education/training were the 11 sub-themes that were revealed during the data analysis. There is considerable need for continued research on how to develop and offer a range of supportive resources to help nurses care for themselves while caring for dying patients and their families, on integrating palliative care teams in intensive care units, and how health care organizations could benefit from developing palliative or comfort care units in their organizations.
|Commitee:||Brett, Anne, ReGester, Maria|
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Medical Ethics, Nursing, Organization Theory|
|Keywords:||Burnout and stress, Critical care, End-of-life care and education, Intensive care setting, Northern California, Nursing ethics, Palliative care|
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