Providing comfort to patients in their palliative care trajectory: experiences of female nurses working in an acute setting
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Roche-Fahy, Vivian, & Dowling, Maura (2009). Providing comfort to patients in their palliative care trajectory: experiences of female nurses working in an acute setting. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 15(3), 134-141. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2009.15.3.41092
This study aims to explore the lived experience of nurses who provide comfort to palliative care patients in an acute setting in a small urban hospital in the west of Ireland. A qualitative approach using Gadamerian hermeneutic phenomenology was chosen for the study and data were collected using open interviewing. The main findings revealed four major themes (with sub-themes) that describe the lived experience of providing comfort to palliative care patients in an acute setting: time needed to provide comfort, emotional cost to the nurse in providing comfort, a holistic approach in the provision of comfort, and the role of education and the expert team in providing comfort. The study findings will contribute to a greater understanding of the difficulties and challenges that general non-specialized nurses in the acute setting have to understand and apply the philosophy of palliative care to patients in an acute care setting. The findings should also contribute to a broader appreciation between specialized and non-specialized nurses who are responsible for the delivery of holistic, individual person-centred care to patients requiring palliative care.