How do hospital nurses experience end-of-life care provision? A creative phenomenological approach

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Current evidence suggests hospital nurses end-of-life care is complex due to the conflicting tasks of treatment focused care against palliation which needs further exploration.

AIM: To understand hospital nurses’ experiences of end-of-life care.

METHOD: Interpretive phenomenology was used to explore 10 hospital nurses’ experiences.

FINDINGS: Nurses’ individual experience of death informed their attitudes to death. The dominant attitude was death-as-calm, accompanied by human connection, and death-as-process. To continue providing end-of-life care the nurses successfully protected their authentic-self through three processes; professional-identity; defence-of-self and being-someone-else. The nurses found the unpredictable nature of hospital end-of-life care difficult but used a collaborative power to manage situations.

CONCLUSION: This study suggests the hospital nurses effectively managed the tensions between treatment and palliation. To enable this the nurses successfully protect their authentic self and continue providing end-of-life care, but clinical areas need to take appropriate measure to mitigate against the effects of providing end-of-life care. The negotiated power the nurses utilised when providing end-of-life care should be recognised and developed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Jul 2022


  • end of life care
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital
  • palliative care


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