Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes

An exploration of specialist palliative care nurses’ experiences of providing care to hospice inpatients from minority ethnic groups – implication for religious and spiritual care

The aim of this research study was to gain an understanding of nurses’ experiences of providing care to patients from minority ethnic groups within the specialist palliative care inpatient unit of an Irish hospice. Five nurses working in a hospice inpatient unit with experience in providing care to patients from minority ethnic groups were interviewed using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Analysis of the data resulted in the emergence of two distinct constructs, “encountering a landscape of diversity” and “negotiating this landscape”, each one comprising three themes. Findings relating to religion and supporting patients’ religious needs were dominant in four of the six emergent themes—death and dying, acceptance, feeling their way, and being resourceful. The findings presented in this paper highlight the personal and professional challenges facing nurses when providing care in the context of religious diversity. In addition, participants’ descriptions of their endeavours to negotiate the challenges in the context of these differences are identified. By applying these findings in practice, healthcare professionals hold the potential to positively impact the quality-of-life of patients, their families, and their experiences of hospice care in Ireland.