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Bereavement


Studies of the healthcare industry workforce conclude that caring for the dying and bereaved is the most stressful situation in the workplace.

Browning & Solomon, 2005


The loss of life and grieving that follows is a difficult situation for healthcare professionals. It’s always been grim to work amidst and respond to profound sadness and suffering.

The Joint Commission, the primary accrediting body for hospitals, recognizes the importance of training in palliative care. Without training care providers may feel that they are left to unsuitably manage these difficult situations, each full of unique, uncomfortable nuances. For those survived by the deceased, saying goodbye presents a potential for intimacy and peace, but because of heightened emotional sensitivity, this stage may accentuate family conflicts, and requiring skill from care providers that they may not find themselves equipped with or prepared to actualize. And when providers lack the necessary skill for palliative care, they may feel personally unfulfilled, and disengage from the critical relationships with the dying and bereaved.  This scenario can inspire a loss of patient and families trust, negatively impact patient satisfaction scores, and potentially create traumatic memories, negative lasting impressions from life’s last precious moments. And that’s not good for anyone.