What is the state of current practice for withdrawal of life support (WDLS) in your intensive care unit? Kirchhoff and Kowalkowski surveyed 1000 randomly selected AACN nurses and found the following:
Nursing actions were guided at the bedside by physician orders (63.8%), care plans (20%), or standing orders (11.8%).
Most nurses (78.7%) reported that there was no coursework covering WDLS as part of their basic nursing training and 63.1 % of the nurses had never received training on WDLS during orientation to their institution.
The most common difficulties reported during WDLS were emotional (66.1%), ethical (46.4 %), and procedural (34.6 %).
Recommendations included formal training and best practice standards that support nurses in providing WDSL, including innovations that facilitate patient-centered care and a compassionate practice environment for nurses.