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homes, hospital developing, nurses, palliative care, phenomenological hermeneutics



  1. Iranmanesh, Sedigheh PhD
  2. Haggstrom, Terttu PhD, SRN, PHN, RNT
  3. Axelsson, Karin PhD, RNT
  4. Savenstedt, Stefan PhD, SRN, PHN, RNT


Most people need to be cared for at the end of their lives by professionals. This study aimed to elucidate the meaning of nurses' experiences of caring for dying persons at home and in a special unit in a hospital. Four registered nurses working in private homes and 4 registered nurses working in a specific unit in a hospital setting were interviewed. The study was planned and carried out with a phenomenological hermeneutic approach. A naive reading guided a structural analysis, which resulted in 3 main themes: meeting patients and family members as unique persons, learning in a challenging environment, and gaining personal strength. The interpreted comprehensive understanding conveyed a meaning that caring for families with a member awaiting the end of life created a situation where the presence of an inevitable death demanded nurses to create close relationships with each unique person involved.