How to Deal With Death as a Nurse

No one wants to think about it, but when you work in the healthcare industry, especially as a nurse, you will come face to face with the specter of death more times than you’d want. Some nurses work specifically in hospice to help make the transition easier for those facing the end of life. But that doesn’t make death easy to deal with. How can you stay strong in these situations regardless of how or how often it happens to you?

Accept It

The first thing you’ll need to do is understand that death is a natural part of life. There will be situations out of your control where your patient will pass away. It’s important that you accept this as possible, and even probably in some cases. All lives end in death, and while some deaths may be more difficult, it’s going to be a part of your experience as a nurse.

Take Time to Grieve

When someone dies in your direct care, it’s okay for you to take time to grieve. Just because this person was your patient and not a close friend or family member doesn’t mean you won’t have feelings about their passing. Let yourself cry if it feels right for the situation. Don’t hold back.

Talk with The Family

Your patient’s family is still connected to them. Talk to them about their loss. Hug them if they feel comfortable with it. Tell them stories if they’re open to listening. Their family will be grateful that someone was there for them.

Take Time for Yourself

Death is hard, even when you’re prepared for it. It’s okay to take time for yourself. If you meditate or pray, it’s a good opportunity to reconnect to your spiritual center. You can also take a day or two for yourself just to process your feelings and be away from the medical environment.

Don’t Dwell

As a nurse, every death you experience will affect you differently. Some may hit you harder than others. But a patient’s death should not be the end of your nursing career. If you dwell on it, you can create more anxiety for yourself, which can affect you in the long run. Learn techniques to let it go so you can move on and help others.

Work With a Top Healthcare Staffing Agency in Dallas

Are you a dedicated nurse looking for a new position to help more people? Contact CornerStone Medical, now hiring for healthcare jobs in Dallas TX.



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