Background: Critical Care Nurses (CCNs) frequently provide end of life (EOL) care in intensive care units (ICUs). Barriers to EOL care in ICUs exist and have been previously published, but qualitative reports from CCNs themselves remain scarce. Qualitative data exploring barriers faced during ICU EOL care may increase awareness of obstacles and help remove them. Objective: Excluding family experiences, what are the major themes recounted by CCNs when asked to share common obstacles experienced in providing ICU EOL care? Methods: Members of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses were randomly surveyed and responses to a single qualitative question were used. Results: There were 104 participants who provided 146 responses reflecting EOL obstacles which were divided into 11 themes; 6 physician- related obstacles and 5 nursing-and-other related obstacles. Top three EOL ICU barrier themes were inadequate physician communication, physicians giving false hope and nursing-related obstacles. Conclusion: Poor physician communication is the main obstacle noted by CCNs during ICU EOL care followed by physicians giving false hope. Heavy patient workloads were also a major barrier in CCNs providing EOL care.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Willmore, Elizabeth Elouise, "Physician Behaviors, Nursing, and Other Obstacles in End-of-Life Care: Additional Critical Care Nurse Perceptions" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 9061.
end of life, dying, ICU, intensive care, critical care, obstacles, physician, nursing, environment