Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Cynthia D. Connelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chairperson; Jane M. Georges, PhD, RN, Committee Member; Brenda N. Boone, PhD, RN, Committee Member


Interventional radiology, IR procedures, without sedation, local anesthetic, IR nurse, caring, lived experience, phenomenology, theory of caring


Background: Many IR procedures offer a less invasive and economical alternative to some open or laparoscopic surgeries. Patients undergoing a procedure without moderate sedation are awake, alert, with heightened sensory perceptions, and vulnerable to their surroundings. There is a gap in the current body of literature relating to the IR nurse’s experience of caring for patients during procedures without the use of moderate sedation.

Purpose/Aims: The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of Interventional Radiology (IR) nurses caring for conscious patients undergoing a procedure without the use of sedation. This phenomenological study aimed to describe the experience of IR nurses during the peri-procedural process in cases performed without moderate sedation and gain an understanding of perceived barriers to the nurse’s role and responsibilities in caring for conscious patients during an IR procedure.

Methods: This study was underpinned by a hermeneutic phenomenological approach using Heidegger’s philosophy and informed by Swanson’s Theory of Caring. A purposive sample of 10 participants were interviewed about their experience in caring for patients undergoing IR procedures without sedation. Transcripts were reviewed and analyzed using the iterative and reflective process within the hermeneutic circle.

Findings: Five themes emerged from the data: (a) undertaking a multi-faceted role (b) awareness, (c) comforting, (d) being there, and (e) challenging roles. The IR nurse’s physical and emotional presence is essential during an unfamiliar event. Sensory perceptions are increased, and IR nurses are aware of the surroundings and the possible effects on the patients and their well-being Proper communication and patient education are essential to address vulnerability associated with medical procedures. Nurse staffing concerns must be addressed as without the opportunity to be present, the nurse’s ability to lead and advocate for the patient is negated.

Implications for Research: Research may be adapted to other procedural areas or bedside nursing where minor procedures may be performed without moderate sedation providing information on how to better serve patients who may go through the distinct experience of a procedure while awake and alert.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access