The Experiences of Patient's Family in the General Ward After Discharge From ICU in Korea: Getting Acquainted with the Hope That Burden

Friday, 3 August 2012: 9:10 AM

Heui kyeong Kwon, RN, MS
Department of Nursing, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the family's experences and anxiety in transition time.

Learning Objective 2: the learner will be able to know what characteristics of korean family caregivers.


  The transfer anxiety during the transitional period might hamper intensive care patient's family members from making proper decisions, weaken the family's decision-making competency and induce an unhealthy transitional period in Korea. The question is what the patients family members experience from hospital unit transfer upon discharge from ICU. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the process of the patient’s family membersexperiences in the general ward after discharging from ICU. In order to understand and recognize the patients family membersbehaviors, this qualitative research was carried out.


 The 8 participants were family members of the patients who transfer from an ICU to a general ward in one general hospital in Seoul. According to the grounded theory methodology of Strauss and Corbin(1990), the data was collected with in-depth interviews and participants observations until its saturation at the general ward. Data collection and it’s analysis were done simultaneously using the constant comparative method. The data was analyzed into the concepts, subcategories, and categories with the open coding process and the axial coding was done. The core category was developed with the selective coding, which consisted of the formulated grounded theory.


 The process of experiencing transfer from ICU evolved several stages such as stage of ‘achieving to hope’, ‘becoming to burden’, ‘comfortable mind and uncomfortable body’, ‘becoming close to healthcare provider’, ‘forming a relationship with healthcare provider’, ‘feeling like a sinner’ and ‘becoming familiar with living’.


 The core category generated, which was a central phenomena of the experiences of transfer from ICU, was named ‘getting acquainted with the hope that burden. Therefore, the nurse needs to know and attention what the patients’ family members experience in the transfer from ICU.