Caring Intensely Until the End: The Lived Experiences of Intensive Care Unit Nurses
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Type of Work17 pages
Nurses are essential members of the health care team and work alongside doctors, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, and other crucial health care persons to utilize a multidisciplinary approach to patient-centered care. In the intensive care unit, this includes being a patient advocate when end-of-life care measures are being implemented. Providing care for patients who are at the end of life can be distressing to intensive care unit nurses, who are often the ones that spend most of their time alongside patients and their families. Due to the typical nurse-to-patient ratio, which is generally one to two patients per nurse, intensive care unit nurses are continuously exposed to dying patients and their surrounding support systems. By looking at the lived experiences of intensive care unit nurses when caring for the critically ill, improvements can be identified to address issues nurses encounter and concerns nurses have when providing end-of-life care to critically ill patients.