Background: Nurses in high-dependency units frequently facilitate the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments and provide end-of-life care. Providing this care has been shown to cause distress, burnout and cumulative grief. There remains a lack of understanding of high dependency nurses’ experiences of caring for patients approaching withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments. Aim: To explore experiences of high dependency nurses caring for patients approaching withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment and highlight any support or needs they may have. Methods: Interviews were conducted and analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. Findings: Nurses experienced conflict in decision making, which was reported to prolong patient distress and cause nurses moral anguish. Nurses need time to talk and further education to support them to provide withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment. Conclusion: High-dependency nurses need time to talk following caring for this patient group and more extensive education to support them to provide quality end-of-life care.
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing