Aim: This study aimed to explore the experiences and perceptions of nurses caring for dying patients and their families in the acute medical admission setting. Methods: A qualitative interpretive descriptive methodology was used to explore the experiences and perceptions of 15 nurses recruited via purposive sampling from three acute medical wards of a hospital in Hong Kong. Results: The nurses perceived insuffciency and experienced great mental and physiological strain regarding their caring roles in this setting. Four themes were derived from the fndings: lack of preparedness for patients' deaths, refecting on their own nursing roles for dying patients, refecting on the meaning of death and their personal experiences of the death of their own family members, and coping with caring for dying patients. Conclusions: There are similarities between these experiences and those of nurses in similar settings in different cultures. There is a need for further research into and educational preparation of nurses in bereavement care and means of coping with somatic, cognitive, behavioural, and emotional responses in an environment where the emphasis is on curing people who are dying rather than caring for them.
- Acute care
- Death and dying
- Stress and coping
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Advanced and Specialised Nursing