Educational DIMENSIONPrognostic Communication of Critical Care Nurses and Physicians at End of LifeGutierrez, Karen M. PhD, RNAuthor Information Karen M. Gutierrez, PhD, RN, is an assistant professor of nursing at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has more than 20 years of experience as a clinician in critical care and has conducted research in ethical issues at end of life with critical care nurses. Financial support was provided by Sigma Theta Tau International, American Association of Critical Care Nursing, and Midwest Nursing Research Society. The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Karen M. Gutierrez, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN, 5615 Fairway Drive, Shorewood, MN 55331 ([email protected]). Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing: May/June 2012 - Volume 31 - Issue 3 - p 170-182 doi: 10.1097/DCC.0b013e31824e0022 Buy Metrics AbstractIn Brief Many critical care nurses express reluctance to communicate prognostic information to patients and family members, especially prior to physician communication of this information. Yet, the findings from this study indicate that critical care nurses play a crucial, complementary role to physicians in prognostic communication. Nurses’ contributions result in a broader picture of prognosis to patients and family members and facilitate end-of-life discussions. Many critical care nurses are reluctant to communicate prognostic information to patients and family members, particularly at end of life. This study, which has a basis for education, was implemented with the purpose of describing prognostic communication of critical care nurses and physicians to family members of patients at high risk for death in a critical care unit. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.