Critical care nurses' attitudes towards the care of the dying : an educational intervention

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Andrea Watson Alvaro (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Judy Mallory

Abstract: Nurses play a key role in providing care at the end of life. Historically, though, nursing education has not been effective in providing education on end-of-life care. While society expects nurses to provide the best care possible for all patients, nurses may not be educationally prepared to fulfill this expectation. Studies have been done in the past to examine nurses' attitudes towards care of the dying, but little research has been done focusing specifically on critical care nurses. This research does a thorough literature review to analyze the critical care environment, nurses' attitudes towards care of the dying, and education on end-of-life care. Critical care nurses' attitudes towards care of the dying were examined in this study using the FATCOD (Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying) scale and a demographics questionnaire. The study evaluated the impact of an educational intervention on the attitudes of critical care nurses, using an intervention group and a comparison group. Relationships between demographic components and attitudes towards care of the dying were also assessed. Results of this study indicate that educating critical care nurses on end-of-life care positively and significantly affects their attitudes towards care of the dying. Most nurses do not feel like they are adequately prepared in nursing school to care for the dying patient. In order to prepare nurses to effectively care for the dying patient, education must be incorporated into both undergraduate studies and staff development in healthcare institutions.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Attitudes, Care, Critical care nurse, Death, Dying, Education
Terminal care
Intensive care nursing
Nursing -- Study and teaching

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