Nursing Support for Family Members of Critically Ill Adults
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Researchers have identified the needs of family members of critically ill adults, explored their experiences, and investigated interventions. To address a gap in the theoretical knowledge about how nurses help these individuals, the authors developed a grounded theory of nursing support from the perspective of family members. Results indicated that the family members were initiated into a cycle of Work to meet perceived responsibilities to Get Through the experience. Supportive nurses engaged in the process of Lightening Our Load to mitigate the negative effects of the critical care experience on family members by Engaging With Us, Sustaining Us, and Disengaging From Us. No previous research has yet identified the Work of these family members, the steps they take to gain nurses' respect, and the significance to them of nurses' Welcoming Us and Saying Goodbye. This theory extends the understanding of nursing support beyond current knowledge of family needs, caring, comfort, supportive care, ans social support.