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Caring for people at the end of life: Iranian oncology nurses′ experiences

Keywords: Caring for dying people , Lived experience , Iran , Oncology nurses , Palliative care

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Abstract:

Aim: To explore the meaning of Iranian oncology nurses′ experiences of caring for people at the end of life. Materials and Methods: A phenomenological hermeneutic approach was applied. Fifteen nurses working in oncology units were interviewed in 2007 regarding their experiences of caring for people at the end of life. Results: Participants experienced caring for people at the end of life as sharing space and time to be lost within an organizational context. This main theme was divided into three subthemes including being attentive to the dying persons and their families, being cared for by the dying persons and their families, and being faced with barriers. Conclusion: The study suggests that the nurses′ success in caring for people at the end of life is reliant on their interpersonal caring relationship. Facilitating such relationship requires the establishment of palliative care unit, incorporation of palliative care into undergraduate nursing studies, and cultural preparation through public education.

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