Exploring the trauma care nurse's lived experiences of dealing with the violent death of their clients

P Brysiewicz, B R Bhengu
Curationis 2000, 23 (4): 15-21
A phenomenological approach was used to explore the phenomenon, violent death, from the perspective of trauma care nurses working in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Three relatively unstructured interviews were undertaken on an individual basis with each lasting thirty to forty-five minutes long. The researchers applied the principle of theoretical saturation and a total of seven participants from three level-one trauma units were included in the study. All the interviews were tape recorded and transcribed, and manual analysis, as well as a qualitative software package--NUD*IST--was used to identify experiential themes within the data. The trauma care nurses conceptualized violent death as being sudden, unpredictable, senseless and not as dignified or peaceful as a non-violent death. A number of issues that made confronting violent death difficult were raised and the trauma care nurses described a number of emotional and physical reactions that they experienced due to exposure to these situations. A number of recommendations were suggested for the trauma care nurses, nursing management, nurse educators and for future research in an attempt to prevent the loss of these valuable nurses from the nursing profession.

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