Living With Dying In The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: A Nursing Perspective

Title

Living With Dying In The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: A Nursing Perspective

Creator

Stayer; Lockhart; J S

Identifier

DOI: 10.4037/ajcc2016251

Publisher

American Journal Of Critical Care

Date

2016

Subject

Child; Nurses; Nursing; Death; Compassion Fatigue; Grief; Professionals; Critical Care Medicine; Experiences; Pediatric Intensive-care; Beliefs; Opinions And Attitudes; Management; Critically Ill Children; Health Aspects; Analysis; Nurses; Intensive Care Units Pediatric; Pediatric Nursing; Family; Practice

Description

BACKGROUND:
Despite reported challenges encountered by nurses who provide palliative care to children, few researchers have examined this phenomenon from the perspective of nurses who care for children with life-threatening illnesses in pediatric intensive care units.
OBJECTIVES:
To describe and interpret the essence of the experiences of nurses in pediatric intensive care units who provide palliative care to children with life-threatening illnesses and the children's families.
METHODS:
A hermeneutic phenomenological study was conducted with 12 pediatric intensive care unit nurses in the northeastern United States. Face-to-face interviews and field notes were used to illuminate the experiences.
RESULTS:
Five major themes were detected: journey to death; a lifelong burden; and challenges delivering care, maintaining self, and crossing boundaries. These themes were illuminated by 12 subthemes: the emotional impact of the dying child, the emotional impact of the child's death, concurrent grieving, creating a peaceful ending, parental burden of care, maintaining hope for the family, pain, unclear communication by physicians, need to hear the voice of the child, remaining respectful of parental wishes, collegial camaraderie and support, and personal support.
CONCLUSION:
Providing palliative care to children with life-threatening illnesses was complex for the nurses. Findings revealed sometimes challenging intricacies involved in caring for dying children and the children's families. However, the nurses voiced professional satisfaction in providing palliative care and in support from colleagues. Although the nurses reported collegial camaraderie, future research is needed to identify additional supportive resources that may help staff process and cope with death and dying.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

July 2016 List

Citation

Stayer; Lockhart; J S, “Living With Dying In The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: A Nursing Perspective,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed September 23, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/10522.

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