Aims and objectivesTo explore and evaluate perioperative nurses’ experience of organ procurement.BackgroundOrgan procurement is part of the organ donation process, and is typically performed in the perioperative setting. This experience may contribute to perioperative nurses’ feelings of distress and negative attitudes towards organ donation.DesignSystematic review of the literature.MethodPrimary research studies, published in the English language between 1990–2014 were identified, screened and appraised using Joanna Briggs Institute appraisal tools. Data extraction and analysis followed.ResultsThe quality assessment resulted in seven qualitative and three quantitative research studies. The main findings were: (1) Perioperative nurses reported feeling emotionally distressed, challenged, lonely and physically drained throughout the entire organ procurement procedure. (2) Perioperative nurses reported finding their own unique self‐coping strategies and ways of eliciting support. (3) Perioperative nurses had positive and negative attitudes towards organ donation.ConclusionPerioperative nurses reported feelings of sadness, feeling challenged and physically drained through the entire organ procurement procedure, which were influenced by differing factors in the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative stages. It is acknowledged that personal coping strategies and support are important to help perioperative nurses improve their psychological well‐being, and their experiences and attitudes towards organ procurement and donation. The meaningfulness of these findings for practice policy and research is described.Relevance to clinical practicePerioperative nurses play a vital role in the organ procurement procedure and require ongoing support to ensure their psychological welfare, in particular, newly qualified or inexperienced nurses’ participating in organ procurement.
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