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Palliative care to paralysed patients: lived experiences of registered nurses at the intensive care unit of a major care centre in a caribbean island

Author: 
Philip Onuoha and Sasha Samaroo
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Aim: To explore the lived experiences of registered nurses who give palliative care at intensive care unit of a major medical centre in a Caribbean Island. Methods: Purposive criterion sample of all nurses at the major hospital was employed to determine their live experiences using a qualitative design based on grounded theory. Questionnaire structured to accommodate their free expression of their experiences was designed for the study. All 12 nurses who work the different shifts volunteered. Results: The nurses were of three nationalities (Trinidad and Tobago, Philippines, and Cuba). Their experiences included communication issues, the need for spiritual care, and physical stresses, and “mutual positivism”, a good feeling the nurses get when the patients and their relatives as well as the nurses derive satisfaction following the nurses’ care. This feeling is derived when the care is holistic to include spiritual care. Conclusion: We found out that regardless of culture and nationality, registered nurses who provide palliative care to paralyzed patients in the ICU experience high levels of stress and negative feelings. The evidence of the study suggests that palliative care nursing of paralyzed patients is a challenge and nurses are aware about these challenges. The most challenging aspect of this type of care is communication with the patients and their relatives. However, when the care is holistic, it benefits the caregivers as well as the patients and their relatives. Recommendation: The nurses made recommendations that included among others greater involvement of technologies and special training.

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