Oncology nurses are essential in palliative care for cancer patients, especially at end-of-life stages. Caring for terminally ill cancer patients is stressful, accompanied by negative and positive feelings, but oncology nurses have an unavoidable responsibility. However, little is known about oncology nurses' experience in the Kingdom of Bahrain caring for terminally ill cancer patients in their final weeks or days. This study aimed to explore the experience of oncology staff nurses in providing care for terminally ill patients in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the research answered those questions: (a) What is the experience of oncology staff nurses in providing care for terminally ill patient? And (b) How does the experience of oncology nurses in providing care to terminally ill patients impact the quality of care provided to patients? A qualitative descriptive, interpretive exploratory research design was utilized for this study to explore the experience of oncology staff nurses with terminally ill patients, conducted in two hospital settings at Salmaniya medical complex (inpatient & outpatient) oncology department. The data were collected using a purposive sampling to include 15 oncologist nurses whose experiences were across various characteristics with different professional roles and qualifications. The data were collected through 15 semi-structured interviews guided by a semi-structured interview protocol. Data were analyzed using Braun and Clarke's 2006 thematic analysis model without pretexting. The research findings revealed three key themes that emerged from thematic analysis: (1) exhausting versus rewarding experienced feelings; (2) Factors influencing Nursing care; (3) Moral Distress. End-of-life care in the Kingdom of Bahrain reflects and has been influenced by primary total nursing care. Oncology nurses reported suffering but also benefiting from their experiences. End-of-life cancer care training is needed and urged by oncology nurses, especially those younger and less experienced. Also, future studies are mandated to explore interventions to help overcome the challenges that are impeding nurses from providing high-quality care for terminally ill patients in the kingdom of Bahrain.


terminally ill, terminal care, palliative care, oncology nursing, qualitative research

Author Bio(s)

Layla Salman Turki is a special specialist Nurse at Governmental Hospitals – Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) in the Kingdom of Bahrain. She graduated from the College of Health Sciences in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing science. Layla has 15 years of experience in the field of clinical practice, and she worked 11 years in the surgical department and four years in the oncology department. Layla is now enrolled in the Quality and Risk Management Department. She is a team member involved in National Health Regulatory Authority Accreditation and The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards Accreditation team for Governmental Hospitals. Mrs. Layla has an interest in caring for patients with cancer, and she is a member of the palliative care team at SMC. Mrs. Layla recently accomplished her master’s degree in the adult health program at University of Bahrain. Please direct correspondence to layla.turki@hotmail.com.

Dr. Leena Khonji is the Dean of the College of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Bahrain. Dr. Leena is the Director of WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing Development in EMRO. She holds a Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Manchester. Dr. Leena previously held the position of the Chairperson of the Nursing Department and Acting Chairperson of Allied Health Department at the University of Bahrain. Dr. Leena has more than 22 years of experience in the field of clinical practice and teaching nursing and midwifery students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Dr. Leena has various membership roles in many national and international societies and organizations. Dr. Leena has a research interest in nursing education and practice, childbirth care and practices, mixed-methods studies, and women’s health issues. Please direct correspondence to lkhonji@uob.edu.bh.

Magda Bayoumi is currently working as Head of Nursing Department, Assistant Professor at Nursing Department CHSS- UOB, and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Nursing (Beni-Suef University). She had been working as an assistant professor in Saudi Arabia at King Saud University, King Khalid University, and Alfarabi Colleges for more than 12 years. She was awarded a PhD in nursing science in 2007. Bayoumi is an inventor on more than one patent, a member of the editorial board of several international nursing journals, has many publications, and has been a speaker at national and international conferences. Her main interests are in nursing research to add new nursing knowledge and apply the scientific approach to solve problems using evidence-based practice to improve quality of care, especially for dialysis patients. Please direct correspondence to mbayoumi@uob.edu.bh.


Mrs. Layla expresses her deepest gratitude and thanks to all adult terminally ill patients and their families. She also expresses her deepest thanks to all staff members who work in the Oncology department (Inpatient and Outpatient) at Salmaniya Medical Complex for their cooperation, especially Nurse Supervisor Layla Ebrahim AL-Gasra for her cooperation, support, and encouragement.

Publication Date


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