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A Phenomenological Study of Nurses’ Experience of Grief Following Patient Death

A Phenomenological Study of Nurses’ Experience of Grief Following Patient Death

Abstract

A Phenomenological Study of Nurses’ Experience of Grief Following Patient Death SAGE Publications, Inc. 200910.1177/0193945909342243 © The Author(s) The Author(s) LisaGerow University of Kansas PatriciaConejo University of Kansas AmandaAlonzo University of Kansas NancyDavis University of Kansas SusanRodgers University of Kansas ElaineDomian University of Kansas Registered nurses have long provided end-of-life care and support to patients and their families. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, nurses will be exposed to an increasing number of patient deaths. Understanding the grief experienced by nurses will facilitate effective support and coping mechanisms within the work environment. Although nursing leaders rec- ognize that nurses experience grief when their patients die, there is little research about the experiences of nurses following the death of a patient. Nurses’ training about the grief process is minimal and generally related to supportive interventions for patients and families. Education pertaining to the grief nurses may experience in caring for dying patients and their fami- lies is rare in nursing curricula. This qualitative study uses phenomenology to investigate the lived experience of nurses’ grief resulting from the death of patients in their care. The participants for this study consist of 11 nurses recruited through purposive sampling. Nurses
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