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Chong PH, Poon WH
Correspondence: Dr Chong Poh Heng, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Homecare nurses had been and still are the backbone of palliative care services in Singapore. Although extensively documented by overseas researchers, the local perspective of their identity has not been evaluated. We aimed to uncover the lived experience of palliative homecare nurses so as to understand the meaning and interpretation of their experience of being homecare nurses.
Methods The research methodology was underpinned by the tenets of hermeneutic phenomenology. Two focus group discussions were held to gather responses from a purposive sample of ten nurses who belonged to five agencies that provide palliative homecare in Singapore. The discourses were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim for qualitative analysis.
Results The common themes that emerged were organised into six domains: Introduction to palliative care; Initial experiences; Challenges; Working in a team; Working with the doctor; and Support. Despite the different settings, most of the experiences were consistent with those described elsewhere.
Conclusion The palliative homecare nurse assumes a prominent role as part of a team, since she often has in-depth connections with her patients. Although it can be depressing and trying at times, she grows to see this role as both a privilege and a calling.
Keywords: nurses, palliative care, qualitative research
Singapore Med J 2011; 52(3): 151-157