1College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. 2College of Nursing & The Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. firstname.lastname@example.org
PURPOSE: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses' experience in caring for infants who are approaching death and to identity the meaning and structure of their experiences.
METHODS: The participants were eight nurses who had experience in caring for these infants. In-depth interviews were performed from December, 2012 to February, 2013 until data were fully saturated. Collected data were analyzed using Colaizzi's method.
RESULTS: Four theme clusters were extracted from fifteen themes. The four theme clusters of the NICU nurses' experience in caring for infants who are dying were: 1) Crossroads between life and comfort of infants approaching death, 2) emotional suffering at the death of the infant, 3) adapting and coping with the death of the infant, 4) new expectations for caring for infants who are dying.
CONCLUSION: The results of the study provide useful information in understanding NICU nurses' experience in caring for infants who are dying and establishing effective strategies to support these nurses.