Long-term care nurses and their experiences with patients' and families' end-of-life preferences: A focus group study

Susan O'Conner-Von, Frank B Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Long-term care (LTC) nurses are a critical nexus for patient communication and vital to advance care planning due to their professional role and breadth of patient relationships. The current study's aim was to explore the communication strategies Midwestern LTC nurses use to clarify patients' end-of-life (EOL) care preferences. Two focus groups used a phenomenological framework to elucidate the experiences of 14 RNs. Data analysis revealed two themes grounded in time: (a) nurses use time to assess patients' EOL situation and assist patients to discern care options; and (b) nurses educate patients about EOL care, adjust care plans, and develop trusting relationships. Two themes were grounded in clinical experience: (a) nurses become persistent advocates and educators to initiate and sustain EOL communication; and (b) nurses learn consistency in communication, including awareness of patients' nonverbal communication. Nurses shared that EOL communication is never “done”; time frames to assess, educate, and clarify are continuous.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of gerontological nursing
Volume46
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

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