Nurses' responses to death and dying: a need for relentless self-care.

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    Abstract

    This article examines the lived experiences of nurses responsible for administering care to dying patients. To achieve this, the article explores the notion of 'relentless self-care' and why this is an important feature of palliative nursing practice (Renzenbrink, 1998), even though for many nurses, their feelings of loss must remain hidden (Doka, 1989). Because of this, nurses try to protect themselves from distressing symptoms by distancing themselves from death. Consequently, nurses may locate dying patients in side-rooms and hand over part of their caring role to relatives (Sudnow, 1967; Wakefield, 1996, 1999). In view of these responses, the final part of the article will attempt to offer a way forward for the nursing profession, by examining why nurses should treat their own feelings of loss as being analogous to those of a bereaved relative.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245-251
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
    Volume6
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2000

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