Negotiating futility, managing emotions : nursing the transition to palliative care

Broom, Alex, Kirby, Emma, Good, Phillip, Wootton, Julia, Yates, Patsy, & Hardy, Janet (2015) Negotiating futility, managing emotions : nursing the transition to palliative care. Qualitative Health Research, 25(3), pp. 299-309.

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Nurses play a pivotal role in caring for patients during the transition from life-prolonging care to palliative care. This is an area of nursing prone to emotional difficulty, interpersonal complexity, and interprofessional conflict. It is situated within complex social dynamics, including those related to establishing and accepting futility and reconciling the desire to maintain hope. Here, drawing on interviews with 20 Australian nurses, we unpack their accounts of nursing the transition to palliative care, focusing on the purpose of nursing at the point of transition; accounts of communication and strategies for representing palliative care; emotional engagement and burden; and key interprofessional challenges. We argue that in caring for patients approaching the end of life, nurses occupy precarious interpersonal and interprofessional spaces that involve a negotiated order around sentimental work, providing them with both capital (privileged access) and burden (emotional suffering) within their day-to-day work.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
4 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 77719
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: emotions / emotion work, end-of life issues, interviews, semi-structured, nursing, palliative care
DOI: 10.1177/1049732314553123
ISSN: 1552-7557
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Sage Publications, Inc.
Deposited On: 15 Oct 2014 22:30
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 00:02

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