The Essence of the Family Critical Illness Experience and Nurse-Family Meetings
Nursing care of families is essential to strong family support and maintenance of family health during a critical illness. Secondary data analysis of interviews conducted with 11 families with a family member in the intensive care unit revealed two essences: the family critical illness experience and the family vision for the kind of care families required and desired from nurses. The purpose of this article was to explicate the essence of these phenomena and their implications for family nursing practice. Findings affirm the need for a family intervention described in the literature, that of regularly scheduled nurse-family meetings. Although developed for work with families experiencing a chronic illness, bringing families together and inviting meaningful conversation about their experiences is appropriate for families experiencing critical illness. Nurse-family meetings acknowledge suffering and vulnerability of families when a loved one is critically ill and afford families an opportunity for honest sensitive communication with nurses.
Journal of Family Nursing
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