Successful Mechanical Ventilation Weaning Experiences at Respiratory Care Centers

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A phenomenological qualitative study was conducted on the experiences of patients who had been successfully weaned from mechanical ventilation, including essential elements of the patient support system during the weaning process. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 participants who had been recruited through purposive sampling from three respiratory care centers in Taiwan. The experiences of participants who had been successfully weaned from mechanical ventilation could be categorized into five themes, which were (a) dealing with the unfamiliar context presented by the weaning program, (b) experiencing various psychological responses and self-endurance ambiguity, (c) being tortured by helplessness, (d) wondering whether to continue or give up, (e) and release from self-breathing. Findings were intended to give nurses an increased understanding of patient experiences and help in raising their competence in managing patient emotional reactions that arise during the weaning process. As patient conditions gradually improve, nurses should assess the criteria for mechanical ventilation weaning and provide preparatory information and clarify patient questions to avoid potential negative responses during the process. Participants also reported that the professionalism of nurses and concern from family members were essential sources of support for successful weaning. Nurses can apply recommendations to develop effective patient support systems that encourage family members to accompany patients at critical times during the weaning process. Therefore, the results of this study may assist healthcare personnel to develop strategies to ensure successful weaning from mechanical ventilation.

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