Difficulties Felt by Intensive Care Unit Nurses in Providing End-of-Life Care in Southeast Iran

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Introduction: Critical care deaths represent most hospital deaths. The difficulties felt by intensive care unit (ICU) nurses providing end-of-life care may cause nurses to experience negative attitudes toward caring for dying patients. This study was conducted to examine the difficulties felt by ICU nurses providing end-of-life care in Southeast Iran. Method: The study used a cross-sectional descriptive design and was conducted in 3 hospitals supervised by Kerman Medical University. Using DFINE (difficulties felt by ICU nurses providing end-of-life care), difficulties felt by critical care nurses providing end-of-life care were assessed. Results: The results indicated that the difficulties that were felt by critical care nurses were moderate (2.64 ± 0.65). Among the categories and items, the most difficulties felt by critical care nurses belonged to the category of “converting from curative care to end-of-life care” (3.12 ± 0.93) and the item “life-sustaining treatment is often given excessively” (3.49 ± 1.14). Conclusions: The study suggests that health care managers should organize systematic and dynamic policies and procedures in dealing with end-of-life care to assist ICU nurses.

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