Post Mortem Nursing Care Efficacy as Perceived by Licensed Funeral Directors

Wednesday, 1 August 2012: 10:30 AM

Mikel W. Hand, EdD, MSN, RN, OCN, NE-BC
College of Nursing and Health Professions, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify key elements of post mortem nursing care that are perceived to be beneficial.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to discuss recommended alternatives to traditional post mortem nursing care practices as described by Licensed Funeral Directors.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the efficacy of physical post mortem nursing care provided by hospital staff nurses, as perceived by Licensed Funeral Directors. The aim of the study was to gain understanding into how the physical post moretm care that nurses provide is perceived to help or hinder further physical preparation of the deceased that may be provided by the Licensed Funeral Director.

Methods: A descriptive phenomenological approach will be used. A purposive sample of twenty Licensed Funeral directors were contacted via an email solicitation forwarded by the State Funeral Directors Association. Each participant was asked to complete a web based questionnaire consisting of questions pertaining to various aspects of physicial post mortem care and their ability to either aid or hinder the process of producing a desired cosmetic result with additional preparation of the deceased. Inquiry was focused on the areas of positioning, cleansing of the body, use of ties or ligatures, oral care, as well as shrouding and identification  Each response will be read and coded to identify themes, exemplars, and patterns. Similar themes and exemplars will be clustered to produce a final description of the phenomenon.

Results: Data analysis is currently in process. Final results are pending at the time of submission, but will be available to be included in the presentation. It is anticipated that additional insight will be gained into the perceived efficacy of post mortem nursing care practices.

Conclusion: Final conclusions are pending. Future directions for this reasearch include conducting a similar study involving hospital staff nurses who provide post mortem nursing care as well as completion of a secondary analysis involving data from both groups.