Nursing Implications In Nursing Research
Caring for Loved Ones
For nurses, the implications of death are an important part of the caregiver role. Often, family of the deceased look to nurses for hope, explanation, and as an outlet for the frustration surrounding death. Each patient, each story, each family is different. It is vitally important to remember this and make sure that each loved one and family member is given the appropriate space and time to mourn the loss of their loved one (Fast, 2003).
Nurses are often the first people that survivors see after learning about the death of their loved one. It should be the goal of nurses to provide a safe and supportive environment where families can begin to grieve (Rich, 2005). While, unfortunately death can become …show more content…
Sometimes it is a patient the nurse barely knew, sometimes it is one who the nurse has been caring for over the span of many years. Regardless of the relationship with each patient, nurses are bound to experience loss and death throughout their careers – for some nurses that happens frequently.
In the moments when nurses are supposed to care for others unconditionally, it is important that the they are able to mourn completely as well. Often for nurses, self-care comes after tireless work to care for everyone else. This alone leaves nurses with little time and energy to properly deal with the grief associated with a patient’s death (Rich, 2005). Nurses, just as family members and loved ones of the deceased, can adjust to the death of patients through Worden’s four tasks of mourning. However, it is essential that nurses are able to form an identity beyond nursing; that they can reach out to loved ones and form relationships in order to properly cope with the death of patients (Rich, …show more content…
While death is challenging in any circumstance, it is important to assess the relationship between the nurse and patient when taking into account the impact after death. It may be beneficial for the grieving nurse to attend a patient funeral or have some sort of ceremony to actualize the death. Regardless of the frequency that a nurse experiences patient death, the ability to conceptualize its truth remains important. In the second task of mourning, it is necessary for nurses to have access to therapy sessions or support groups to fully process the grief associated with the death of a patient. In particular cases, the hospital or work facility may provide grief support. However, if that is not the case, a nurse must find some outlet for their grief – they must find a way to express sadness over the loss of a patient in a healthy and safe manner. In the third task of mourning, it is crucial for the bereaved to have further support in returning to the workplace and continuing to perform at a high level when caring for patients. Whether support comes from family, work place members, or support groups, nurses must have the support to continue to perform high quality care. Finally, in the fourth task, it is critical for nurses to find a proper place in their life for the death of patients. Nurses must find an outlet for