Conscious mechanically ventilated patients are not able to communicate due to the internal tubes and many other reasons which cause them to experience many difficulties. In this regard, the present study aimed to explore the experiences of conscious mechanically ventilated patients, such as speech impairment and discovery of nonverbal communication used by them for the expression of their needs.
This qualitative content analysis was conducted on 15 conscious mechanically ventilated patients admitted to the intensive care unit in Iran during 2016. The required data were collected through semi-structured interviews and observations and the subjects were selected using the purposive sampling method from patients with enough experience in this regard. Moreover, the collected data were analyzed using conventional qualitative content analysis methods.
Based on the results of data analysis, four main themes were found in the deep descriptions of the participants. These themes were the inability to speak as the root of problems, inconvenient blockage of communication channels, unsuccessful nonverbal communication, and attempt for communication.
Conscious patients in the intensive care unit have many communication problems while undergoing mechanical ventilation. Therefore, they are not able to express their own needs and this leads to fear and disappointment in them. These patients use different methods, such as communicating via signs, tapping on the bed, lip reading, and writing to express their needs.
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