Delivering the news of death

  • After portraying the role of a provider informing parents of their child’s death, I have new perspective of how challenging delivering such information could be. So a patient has just died and now you have the hardest job of all, telling the family. As a nurse I have been in the room as a provider informs a family that the patient died but never have I been the one to give the news. Everything in that moment when delivering such news matters including ;displaying empathy, being honest, body language, and even moments of silence. While portraying the role as provider delivering the news of death, I couldn’t help but think in real life how do providers not find themselves emotionally drained. The first patient is dead and in many ways by delivering to the family the news of death, the second patient dies too right in front of you. Thus, it becomes so important for all medical staff to debrief and regroup. Everyday we might not deliver the news of death but each day in our respective practices something occurs or just rigorous demands of the day requires us to find time to mend our emotional wounds.  A crucial part of patient safety is the health and well-being of the people caring for the patients.

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