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Title: Experiences of critical care nurses of death and dying in an intensive care unit : a phenomenological study
Authors: Naidoo, Vasanthrie
Keywords: Critical care;ICU;Dying;Terminall illness
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: Background
Working in the intensive care unit can be traumatic for nursing personnel. Critical care nurses are faced with repeated exposure to death and dying as they are involved in caring for patients who are actively dying or who have been told that they have a terminal illness and are faced with the possibility of impending death. Critical care nurses relate in different ways to the phenomena of death and dying within their nursing profession and their scope of practice. These nurses often have a difficult time coping with the stress that comes with caring for those who are dying or relating to loved ones of those that are dying.
Aim of the study
The aim of the study was to explore the critical care nurse’s experiences of death and dying.
A qualitative, descriptive phenomenological approach was used to guide the study. Four nurses were recruited and rich descriptions of their experiences were gained through individual face-to-face interviews. One broad question was asked: ‘What are your experiences regarding death and dying of your patients in ICU?’
The findings of this study revealed that issues such as communication, multicultural diversity, education and coping mechanisms relating to caring for the critically ill and dying patient are essential in nursing education and practice. Critical care nurses need to have support networks in place, not only to assist in providing care, but also for their own emotional support
Description: Dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree in Masters of Technology: Nursing, Durban University of Technology, 2011.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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