Crossing Antarctica: Hospital nurses' experience of knowledge when providing palliative and end of life care

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Hospitals can be challenging environments for nurses when providing palliative and end-of-life care. Understanding hospital nurses' experiences of their application of palliative and end-of-life knowledge could help direct future education to support such challenging care.

AIM: To understand how hospital nurses use knowledge in palliative and end-of-life care situations.

METHOD: Interpretive phenomenology was used to understand 10 hospital nurses' experiences and ability to apply palliative and end-of-life knowledge.

FINDINGS: The hospital nurses' experiences of knowledge in palliative and end-of-life care was like Crossing Antarctica: unpredictable due to the changing demands and life course leading to uncertainty with knowledge and feeling helpless. Two themes emerged; Knowledge and uncertainty describes feeling unprepared, lacking in knowledge; knowledge and empowerment describes the nurses experiences of applying their knowledge in clinical environments.

CONCLUSION: The nurses' sense of uncertainly could be attributed to their palliative and end-of-life knowledge being systematic, making it difficult for them to manage uncertain situations. Some nurses were empowered to apply knowledge, others were disempowered, suggesting the ability to apply their palliative and end-of-life knowledge is not determined by knowledge alone but also by the position they held.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106214
Number of pages8
JournalNurse Education Today
Volume138
Early online date14 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author

Keywords

  • End of life care
  • Nurses education
  • Nurses knowledge
  • Palliative care
  • Practice education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Nursing(all)

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