Title: 'Getting it right': an ethnographic study on how palliative care nurses discuss death

Authors: Lynne Kovan, Kay De Vries

Addresses: St. Raphael's Hospice, London Road, North Cheam, Sutton, Surrey SM3 9DX, UK. ' University of Worcester Association for Dementia Studies, Institute of Health and Society, University of Worcester, Henwick Grove Campus, Worcester, WR2 6AJ, UK

Abstract: This study examines hospice nurses| perceptions of the needs of dying patients in relation to achieving a |good death|. An ethnographical methodology was used to observe nurses during their handover reports. Findings revealed that hospice nurses strive to achieve the best possible care for their patients. The need to |get it right| was a crucial component and encompassed the stories nurses told about the care of their patients. Akin to the patients| requirements was the emotional burden that caring for the dying had on the nurses, and how this was eased by the reflective nature of their handover discussions.

Keywords: ethnography; good deaths; bad deaths; patient needs; dying patients; death; story telling; palliative care nurses; nursing; healthcare; handover reports; hospices; patient care; emotional burdens; reflective behaviour; England; UK; United Kingdom; work organisation; emotion; virtual feelings; visceral feelings.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2010.032921

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2010 Vol.3 No.3, pp.190 - 205

Available online: 05 May 2010 *

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