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ISSN: 2167-1168

Journal of Nursing & Care
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Research Article

Experiences of Critical Care Nurses of Death and Dying in an Intensive Care Unit: A Phenomenological Study

Vasanthrie Naidoo1* and Sibiya MN2
1School of Nursing, Department of Medical and Surgical Nursing, Life College of Learning-KZN, South Africa
2School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Corresponding Author : Vasanthrie Naidoo
School of Nursing, Department of Medical and Surgical Nursing
Life College of Learning-KZN, South Africa
Tel: + 0027 082 5191
E-mail: [email protected]
Received February 11, 2014; Accepted July 08, 2014; Published July 12, 2014
Citation: Naidoo V, Sibiya M (2014) Experiences of Critical Care Nurses of Death and Dying in an Intensive Care Unit: A Phenomenological Study. J Nurs Care 3:179. doi:10.4172/2167-1168.1000179
Copyright: © 2014 Naidoo V, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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, 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.

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