Do palliative care nurses experience an emotional impact from the utilization of continuous deep sedation on terminally ill patients?
Background: Continuous sedation is a therapy used in end-of-life care, to manage refractory symptoms that a patient may experience in the last days or hours of their life. Palliative sedation is intended to relieve the burden of intolerable suffering from patients who are dying. It provides this relieve by bringing a state of unconsciousness to the patient. Nurses play an important role in the utilization of palliative sedation, however, little is known about their experiences of being involved with this practice. Aim: The aim of this research proposal is to explore if palliative care nurses experience an emotional impact from the utilization of continuous deep sedation on terminally ill patients in the United Kingdom. Design: An interpretative phenomenological analysis approach has been used for this study. Method: Semi-structured interviews with 10 palliative care nurses who have provided continuous deep sedation to a patient in the past, who work at the chosen location for the study, an NHS Hospice in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Interviews will be recorded, and transcribed giving participants consent. To analyze collected data, an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach will be used. Relevance to nursing theory and practice: The emotional well-being of healthcare professionals is extremely important for them as a person and for their ability to care for patients. This study may provide insight into if or how palliative sedation may impact the emotional health of nurses who are involved in this practice. Depending on the findings, strategies and measures may be developed in this area of care, to support nurse's emotional health, therefore impacting and improving person-centred care practice.