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The purpose of this research was to explore the spiritual status of intensive care unit (ICU) nurses and their spiritual care experiences for the critical patients. By phenomenological method, we interviewed 11 ICU nurses with semi-structure guideline in depth to collect the data. The participants in this research were all single female at the age of 35 on average with bachelor degrees and most of them were Taoist. Their working experiences were 15 years as nurses as well as 12 years in ICU on average. The sense of their spirituality conditions were five points on average (range from three to seven points) and those of spiritual care abilities were also 5 points on average (range from two to eight points).
Spiritual care experiences of ICU nurses toward critical care patients contains three main aspects: the spirituality status of intensive care unit (ICU) nurses, the spiritual care of the nurses and the reasons of affecting the spiritual care providing. The first aspect contains four dimensions, which including the definition of the spirituality, value beliefs, life goals (4 topics are missions in life, existence, stability, pressure and frustration in life and its solution ), interaction with others (3 topics are the love between family members, the relationship between patients and the care giver and the relationship between their colleagues), and the connection of the lord (4 topics are worship, divination, custom and ceremony). The second aspects contains three dimensions, which including the definition of the spiritual care for nurses, the evaluation of patients spiritual needs (non-verbal expression and clinical observation for conscious clear patients and the interpretations from unconscious patients family), and spiritual care of the nurses, which contains general spiritual care (9 topics are nursing care skills, physical needs, autonomy, alternative therapies, promoting interaction, religion, cultural caring, dying wish achieving, distress easing, and dying care) and spiritual care for conscious clear and unconscious patients. The third aspect was the reasons which affect the nurses to provide the spiritual care. It includes there dimensions: the environment, the time, and the lack of spirituality in-service education for the medical team. According to our results, we hope to develop the spiritual care guidelines as a reference for the care-giving nurses to care critically ill patients who have spiritual needs in the future.