Nurses' responses to requests for forgiveness at the end of life

Betty Ferrell, Shirley Otis-Green, Reverend Pamela Baird, Andrea Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Context. Patients or family members facing serious illness often express regrets over life events or the need for forgiveness. Professionals, including nurses as the prominent discipline at the bedside, witness these expressions of regret or needs for forgiveness but may not be adequately prepared to optimally address patient concerns regarding forgiveness. Objectives. The objectives of this descriptive study were to 1) identify contexts in which nurses have witnessed expressions of regret or the need for forgiveness and 2) describe nurses' responses to these clinical experiences related to forgiveness. Methods. Nurses attending palliative care educational programs shared narratives of their experiences in caring for patients who expressed regret or the need for forgiveness. Study narratives were analyzed qualitatively, using content analysis. Themes were identified. Results. Narratives were provided by 339 nurses from courses throughout the U.S. and Belize, India, the Philippines, and Romania. Conclusion. Nurses provide clinical care for patients with advanced illness who struggle with issues of forgiveness. Nurses would benefit from additional education regarding how best to address these concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-641
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Forgiveness
Nurses
Emotions
Belize
Romania
Philippines
Palliative Care
India
Patient Care
Education

Keywords

  • communication
  • Forgiveness
  • palliative nursing
  • regret
  • relationships at end of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Cite this

Nurses' responses to requests for forgiveness at the end of life. / Ferrell, Betty; Otis-Green, Shirley; Baird, Reverend Pamela; Garcia, Andrea.

In: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Vol. 47, No. 3, 01.01.2014, p. 631-641.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ferrell, Betty ; Otis-Green, Shirley ; Baird, Reverend Pamela ; Garcia, Andrea. / Nurses' responses to requests for forgiveness at the end of life. In: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2014 ; Vol. 47, No. 3. pp. 631-641.
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