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End-of-life care in a nursing home: Assistant nurses' perspectives.
Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Department of Health Care Sciences.
Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Department of Health Care Sciences. Linköpings universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8007-1770
Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Department of Health Care Sciences.
2018 (English)In: Nursing Ethics, ISSN 0969-7330, E-ISSN 1477-0989, article id 969733018779199Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Worldwide, older persons lack access to palliative care. In Sweden, many older persons die in nursing homes where care is provided foremost by assistant nurses. Due to a lack of beds, admission is seldom granted until the older persons have complex care needs and are already in a palliative phase when they move in.

OBJECTIVE: To describe assistant nurses' perspectives of providing care to older persons at the end of life in a nursing home.

RESEARCH DESIGN: Data were collected in semi-structured individual interviews and analyzed with inductive qualitative content analysis. Participants and research context: Seven assistant nurses from a nursing home in Sweden were randomly selected. Ethical consideration: The research was approved by the local ethics committee.

RESULTS: Three main categories emerged; "Death a natural part of life"; "The older person's well-being"; and "Care in the moment of death"; and seven sub-categories. The assistant nurses described themselves as knowing the older persons well enough to provide good end-of-life care. This was achieved by making small-talk while providing daily care. Relying on experience-based knowledge, they strove to provide end-of-life care built upon respect and engagement with the ambition to strengthen older persons' dignity, for example, by lowering the tempo of care at the end of life, in spite of organizational restrictions.

DISCUSSION: The assistant nurses offered attentive end-of-life care, focusing upon bodily care. The existential needs of the older persons were not foregrounded.

CONCLUSION: To develop their work, and to promote an ethical foundation for such care, assistant nurses might need support and education to be able to offer a care more in line with the aims of palliative care. Furthermore, the organization of care needs to promote, not impede, the realization of this development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. article id 969733018779199
Keywords [en]
Assistant nurse, Dignity, End-of-life care, Ethics, Intuitive knowledge, Nursing home, Older person, Palliative care, Qualitative content analysis
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-6923DOI: 10.1177/0969733018779199PubMedID: 29950147OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-6923DiVA, id: diva2:1245993
Available from: 2018-09-06 Created: 2018-09-06 Last updated: 2019-08-20Bibliographically approved

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