Experiences of critical care nurses of death and dying in an intensive care unit : a phenomenological study
Sibiya, Maureen Nokuthula
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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, have a terminal illness or face impending death. These nurses relate in different ways to the phenomena of death and dying within their nursing profession and their scope of practice. Critical care 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. Methods: A qualitative, descriptive phenomenological research approach was used to guide the study. Approval to conduct the study was obtained from Durban University of Technology Faculty Research Committee, the eThekwini District Health Research Unit, and the Nursing Service Manager of the participating hospital. The study population comprised of nurses working in the Critical care unit of the participating hospital. Results: 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. Conclusions : Critical care nurses need to have support networks in place, not only to assist in providing care, but also for their own emotional support and well-being.
Naidoo, N and Sibiya, M.N. 2014. Experiences of Critical Care Nurses of Death and Dying in an Intensive Care Unit: A Phenomenological Study. Journal of Nursing and Care. 3:4 http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2167-1168.1000179