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Authors

  1. Ciccarello, Gail P. RN, MS

Abstract

Death is a frequent occurrence in the intensive care unit (ICU). Critical care nurses often feel unprepared to deliver expert end-of-life care. This article proposes specific strategies for critical care nurses to improve the delivery of end-of-life care in the ICU. Critical care nurses can examine beliefs about death; recognize that cure and palliative care coexist; create an environment that supports dying as well as curing; improve communication among providers, patients, and families; provide "small things that make a big difference" at the end-of-life; and locate and utilize support for improving end-of-life care.