n Southern African Journal of Critical Care - Unpredictability : nurses' lived experience of caring for long-term mechanically ventilated patients in intensive care units




This phenomenological study was prompted by questions about intensive care nurses' experiences of caring for long-term mechanically ventilated patients in a potentially hostile environment. Data were collected by tape-recorded semi-structured interviews and from a focus group of five registered nurses in the intensive care units of a major tertiary level government hospital in Cape Town who volunteered to participate in the study.

Data from the semi-structured tape-recorded interviews and from the focus group were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Colaizzi's phenomenological research method of inductive reduction. Four themes emerged: 'bonding', 'maintaining', 'stress-inducing' and 'unpredictability'.


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