Background: Approximately 25,000 pediatric deaths occur in hospitals in the United States each year with over 50% of these deaths occurring in Newborn Intensive Care Units (NICU). NICU nurses are frequently involved in end-of-life (EOL) care and face unique obstacles. Objective: The objective of this study was to obtain NICU nurses suggestions for improving obstacles in EOL care in NICUs. Methods: Suggestions were obtained through mailed survey research in qualitative study design. Returned surveys yielded 121 nurse respondents who gave a total of 138 suggestions.Results: A total of 10 cohesive themes were identified: (1) environmental design issues, (2) improved communication between healthcare teams, (3) ending futile care earlier, (4) realistic and honest physician communications to families, (5) providing a œgood death, (6) improved nurse staffing, (7) need for EOL education, (8) earlier entry into hospice/palliative care, (9) availability of ancillary staff, and (10) allowing parents more time to prepare for death.Conclusions: Despite the variety of obstacles encountered in providing EOL care to dying infants and their families, NICU nurses can use self-assessment tools to identify obstacles to EOL care and collaborate with key members of the healthcare team to alleviate these obstacles.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Isaacson, Rebecca Faye, "NICU Nurses' Suggestions for Improving Obstacles in End-of-Life Care" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 7297.
End-of-Life, NICU, obstacles, helps, perceptions, NICU nurses