Main Article Content
Objective: To identify selective factors and their relationship with intensive care
units’ registered nurses’ competency in caring for terminally ill patients.
Design: Descriptive correlational research.
Methodology: Through stratifed random sampling and population ratio sampling,
250 participants were selected for this study. They were registered nurses serving in ICU
wards of hospitals and medical centres in southern Thailand. Data were collected using
4 questionnaires: (1) a general information questionnaire; (2) a questionnaire on registered
nurses’ perception of their competency in caring for terminally ill patients; (3) a questionnaire
on registered nurses’ attitudes towards patients and dying patients; and (4) an organisation
atmosphere questionnaire. All of the questionnaires were validity-checked by 3 expert scholars
and validity-tested using Cronbach's alpha coeffcient. The data were analysed using descriptive
statistics, whilst the relationship that personal and environmental factors had with the
registered nurses’ competency in caring for terminally ill patients in intensive care units
was analysed using Pearson’s correlation coeffcient and point biserial correlation.
Results: The study’s statistically signifcant fndings are as follows. First, organisation
atmosphere and training on care of terminally ill patients displayed a moderately positive
relationship with ICU’s registered nurses’ competency in caring for the terminally ill (r = 0.603,
p < 0.01; r = 0.316, p < 0.01, respectively). Next, the nurses’ attitudes towards death,
experience in caring for terminally ill patients, and education levels displayed a lowly positive
relationship with their competency in caring for the terminally ill (r = 0.221, p < 0.01;
r = 0.214, p < 0.01; r = 0.158, p < 0.05, respectively). On the other hand, no signifcant
relationship was found between the factors of age and ICU work experience and the
nurses’ competency in caring for the terminally ill.
Recommendations: It is recommended that attitude-building and knowledge-enhancing
training be provided for nurses to improve their competency in caring for terminally ill patients.
In addition, an ICU’s working atmosphere should be made conducive to improving the
competency of care of the terminally ill
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