The experiences of critically ill patients and their families when transferred to a distant city hospital
When transferring critically ill patients, vast distances from rural hospitals to tertiary hospitals means nurses play a key role in facilitating communication between the patient, family and health care providers in both settings. Whether nurses are communicating information that patients and the family of the patients, perceive to have meaning for them is not clear. This study identifies the common experiences of both critically ill patients and their next of kin when transferred to tertiary hospitals. A purposive sample of three patients and their next of kin described their experiences. The research identified themes of ‘not knowing’, ‘being near the patient’, and ‘having support’. Personnel involved in the transfer can use these themes to inform practice and facilitate a positive transfer experience to a distant city hospital.