Community Nurses' Experiences of Ethical Dilemmas in Palliative Care: A Swedish Study
da Silva, António Barbosa
International journal of palliative nursing 2010 May; 16(5): 224-31
AIM: The aim of this study was to highlight community nurses' experiences of ethical dilemmas in palliative care. BACKGROUND: There are many studies on palliative care but research on how community nurses experience ethical dilemmas in palliative home care is lacking. The ethical dilemmas to which these nurses are exposed seriously challenge their ethical competence. METHOD: Seven community nurses described their experiences of ethical dilemmas in palliative home care. The data was analysed by means of qualitative content analysis. FINDINGS: The core themes that emerged were: powerlessness, frustration, and concern in relation to ethical dilemmas in palliative care. The nurses were motivated and felt responsibility for their patients' end of life, and their relatives, and took their duties seriously. They wanted to satisfy all parties; the patient, the relatives and other palliative care professionals. CONCLUSION: The study confirms the need for knowledge about how community nurses experience dilemmas in ethical decision-making. They have the freedom to act and the willingness to make decisions, but they lack competence and knowledge about how their colleagues' experience and deal with such issues.
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