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Caring for the Critically Ill at the End-of-Life: Nurses’ Experiences of Palliative Care in Brazilian ICUs – a Minor Field Study
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Critical care is a relatively young speciality with its intention to treat critical illness equally all around the world. Patients admitted to ICUs receive advanced treatments in order to save lives, however some patients will pass away during critical care, which put family members in great physical and emotional distress. It is important to support family needs and keep core principles of palliative care in mind in order for patients and family members to cope with current situation. The need for palliative care is greater than ever, but in most parts of the world it is poorly developed. Brazil struggles with several challenges regarding implementation of a palliative approach within ICU settings. Aim: the aim was to explore nurses’ experiences of palliative care, focusing on family involvement in Brazilian ICUs. Method: semi-structured interviews were analysed using content analysis. Five female nurses were included from one public and one private hospital in the city of Rio de Janeiro, with an average ICU working experience of nine years.

Results: three main categories were identified describing nurses’ experiences of palliative care and family involvement: to care for a dignified death, to promote family involvement and areas for future improvement. Discussion: the results reveal that the nurses, even though lack of professional training, believe that palliative care is important for both patient and their family members at the EOL. Brazilian nurses also face several challenges in order to perform palliative care successfully within ICUs. They struggle with strict visiting policy and the perception of nurses being inferior to physicians. There is a wish for acknowledgement of the nursing profession during EOLC in Brazilian ICUs, since nurses spend most time at each patient’s bedside along with their family members.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
family-centered critical care, palliative care, end-of-life care, ICU, nurses’ experiences, content analysis, minor field study, Brazil
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-9990OAI: diva2:933224
Subject / course
Vårdvetenskap - Specialistsjuksköterska
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2016-06-13 Created: 2016-06-03 Last updated: 2016-06-13Bibliographically approved

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