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Delivering compassionate care in intensive care units: Nurses' perceptions of enablers and barriers

journal contribution
posted on 16.05.2021, 22:57 by Jenny Jones, Sarah Winch, Petra Strube, Marion Mitchell, Amanda Henderson
Background: Compassion is core to nursing practice. Nurses' expression of compassion is a complex interaction informed by the nurse, the patient and the practice environment. Aim: The aim of this study was to identify personal, professional and organizational factors, intensive care nurses, in a major metropolitan facility in Australia, identified as enabling or disabling them to be compassionate. Design: Intensive care nurses (n = 171) reflected on their experiences during ‘compassion cafés’ conducted in 2015. Method: Qualitative, reflexive methods were used to explore ICU nurses' perceptions of enablers and barriers. Nurses documented their perceptions, which were thematically analysed. Meanings were subsequently verified with participants. Results: The findings identified multiple factors both inside and outside the workplace that constrained or enabled nurses' ability to be compassionate. Two main factors inside the workplace were culture of the team, in particular, support from colleagues and congruency in work practices and decision-making, and connections with patients and families. Outside the workplace, nurses were influenced by their values about care and lifestyle factors such as family demands. Conclusions: Nurses capacity to be compassionate is a complex interplay between nursing knowledge and expectations, organizational structures and lifestyle factors. Implications: The responsibility for ‘compassionate’ care is a shared one. Nurses need to be cognizant of factors that are enabling or inhibiting their ability to be compassionate. Healthcare leaders have a responsibility to provide structural support (staffing, education and space) that assist nurses to deliver compassionate care and where appropriate cater for nurses needs so that they are better able to be compassionate. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd 16 May 2016

History

Volume

72

Issue

12

Start Page

3137

End Page

3146

Number of Pages

10

eISSN

1365-2648

ISSN

0309-2402

Location

England

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell

Language

eng

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

16/05/2016

External Author Affiliations

University of Queensland; Griffith University; Princess Alexandra Hospital, Qld

Era Eligible

Yes

Medium

Print-Electronic

Journal

Journal of Advanced Nursing