Caring for Dying People in Critical Care
DOI link for Caring for Dying People in Critical Care
Caring for Dying People in Critical Care book
This chapter highlights some of the special difficulties that critical-care staff face when caring for dying patients and their families. The delicate balance between personal and professional selves is of critical importance in coping with work that demands high levels of intimacy in a series of relatively short-term, intense exchanges. Certain features of critical care have been identified as contributing to an 'overwhelming' culture in which it can be difficult to accommodate practices that facilitate a 'good death' for patients, families and staff. All of these features are likely to become more marked with the growing sophistication of medical technologies. The chapter explores the issues through interviews with doctors and nurses in general adult critical-care units in the United Kingdom. Critical-care nurses should, together, explore how their patients' dignity can be maximised. The chapter concludes with some recommendations for the care of dying people in the challenging environment of critical care.