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Journal of Korean Critical Care Nursing 2018;11(2):1-10.
Published online June 30, 2018.

중환자실 간호사의 임종 환자 돌봄 경험
설은미, 고진강
1서울대학교병원
2서울대학교 간호대학, 간호과학연구소
Experiences of Critical Care Nurses Caring for Dying Patients
Eun Mi Seol, Chin Kang Koh
1Registered Nurse, Department of Nursing, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea. semo0119@snuh.org
2Associate Professor, College of Nursing, The Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
Abstract
PURPOSE
This study aimed to develop an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the experiences of critical care nurses caring for dying patients.
METHOD
Eleven critical care nurses with experience in caring for dying patients were recruited from four tertiary hospitals. Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted between November 2016 and March 2017. The transcribed data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis to identify major themes and sub-themes that represented the experiences of critical care nurses.
RESULTS
The following six themes, and twelve sub-themes, were identified: (1) the gap between expectation and reality, (2) a distorted meaning of death, (3) repeated emotional pain and stress, (4) finding a solution alone, (5) sublimation into mission and calling, and (6) integration into one's own life.
CONCLUSION
This study found that critical care nurses experience various psychological difficulties while caring for dying patients, and they made efforts on their own to overcome them. These findings are expected to inform the development of specialized programs to support critical care nurses to tackle these challenges, create guidelines on caring for dying patients, and help promote death education.
Key Words: Intensive care units, Nurses, Death, Patients, Qualitative study


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