Intensive Care Unit Nurses | End-of-life Nursing Practice

Thinking about strengths in end-of-life nursing practice: the case of intensive care unit nurses.

A study conducted by Vanderspank-Wright B, Wright DK, McMillan K.

BACKGROUND:

The intensive care unit (ICU) is a care context that is sometimes described as being unconducive to the values and ideals of a good death in end-of-life care. Such assumptions render the ICU emblematic of a troubling discourse about end-of-life care in this clinical context.

AIM:

To stimulate a reflective examination of intensive care nursing practice with respect to end-of-life care.

METHODS:

The work of contemporary nursing scholar Laurie Gottlieb is used to perform a strengths-based relational ethical examination of previously published literature that describes critical care nurses’ experiences of providing end-of-life care in the ICU.

FINDINGS:

This literature suggests that the relational ethical value of authentic engagement, which is fundamental to the disciplinary ethos of expert palliative care nursing, is reflected in the everyday practice of intensive care nurses whose patients die while under their care.

CONCLUSION:

A strengths-based approach can make visible the relational ethical practice of critical care nurses who care for dying patients and their families in the ICU.

 

Originally appeared on www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

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