Background: The intensive and critical care units are high-dependency areas, with patients requiring complex care. The intubated status of the intensive and critical care patients makes them dependent on healthcare providers not only for acute care, but also for intimate care, imposing a threat to their dignity. Nurses, being the central care providers, become the stakeholders for dignity promotion. The incorporation of dignity in patient care improves the quality of care, and promotes the health and well-being of intubated patients. Objective: The purpose of the study was to explore nurses’ perceptions about the dignity of intubated patients in the intensive and critical care units. Research design: A qualitative descriptive exploratory study design was used to explore the nurses’ perceptions about the dignity of intubated patients. Participants and research context: The intensive and critical care nurses of a tertiary care hospital were recruited using the purposive sampling technique. The data were collected through in-depth individual interviews, using a semi-structured interview guide. The findings were manually analyzed into themes and categories through content analysis. Ethical consideration: The study was conducted after the approval from the Ethical Review Committee of the Aga Khan University. Findings: Four major themes emerged from the data analysis: (1) two sides of the contemporary nursing practice; (2) benefits of dignified nursing care; (3) challenges to the dignity of intubated patients; and (4) strategies for promoting the dignity of intubated patients. Discussion: Dignity incorporates both the science and the art of nursing. The provision of dignified care is the core component of the quality nursing care and patient well-being in the high-dependency units. Conclusion: This is the first exploratory and descriptive study conducted in Pakistan that explored the nurses’ perceptions about the dignity of intubated patients, and also generated contextual understanding about the phenomenon.
- intensive and critical care
- intubated patients