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Knowledge about death and dying among nurses, nursing technicians and auxiliary nurses at a clinical hospitalization unit

Grant number: 14/03917-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2014
Effective date (End): December 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Nursing - Medical-Surgical Nursing
Principal researcher:Maria Virginia Martins Faria Faddul Alves
Grantee:Mariana Gonçalves Roseghini
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FMB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


Death is considered a natural process of human existence, one of the only certainties the human being has, but it is not a simple issue to discuss. Death is a biological event that closes off a life. No other vital event is capable of arousing more thoughts driven by emotion and emotional reactions than death, whether in the individual who is dying or in the people surrounding him/her. Today, in most cases, death takes place in the hospital environment, representing a challenge for health professionals who, despite their routine contact with this reality, do not know how to face it correctly. Coping with death departs from the principle of developing one's own understanding, in accordance with the concepts of irreversibility and universality. Irreversibility refers to the understanding that the physical body cannot live after death, and therefore includes the acknowledgment of the impossibility to change the biological course or to return to a previous condition. Universality refers to the understanding that everything that lives dies. Elizabeth Kubler Ross was the pioneer to describe the attitudes and emotional reactions aroused by the approximation of death and has shown in her studies that this coping is difficult for health professionals. Professional experience shows us that this theme has been discussed very rapidly and superficially in nursing education, without formally established moments in the curriculum for the discussion about death and dying to take place. Professionals are hardly apt to provide care in a more comprehensive way to people who experience their finiteness, as well as their families. The nurses feel this lack of preparation to take care of these people and this can favor the flight from a situation of confrontation with their own fears and anguishes, making them limit themselves, in most cases, to care for the body that "passes away", instead of the human being who dies. In view of the relevance of the theme, the objective in this research is to survey the knowledge of the nursing professionals who work at a clinical hospitalization unit of a teaching hospital in the interior of the State of São Paulo. A descriptive and quantitative study will be developed. The population will include the nurses, auxiliary nurses, and nursing technicians from the Medical Clinic 1 of the Hospital das Clínicas de Botucatu, through the application of a questionnaire developed for this research. The researcher will inform and provide further clarifications to the professionals about the research objective and, after they have agreed to participate and signed the Free and Informed Consent Form, they will answer the questionnaire. All nursing professionals who work at the abovementioned unit and who agree to participate will take part in this research. Approval has been obtained from the Research Ethics Committee at Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu, opinion 520.377. The data will be described as absolute figures and percentages and processed through descriptive analysis. (AU)

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