How to inform relatives and loved ones of a patient’s death
Intended for healthcare professionals
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How to inform relatives and loved ones of a patient’s death

Mags Guest Lecturer in adult nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of Hull, Hull, England

Rationale and key points

Informing relatives and loved ones of a patient’s death is a sensitive and often stressful task frequently undertaken by nurses.

Effective communication skills and demonstrating compassion are essential when informing relatives and loved ones of a patient’s death.

The nurse should use suitable language and choose an appropriate environment to ensure that information is conveyed clearly, sensitively and without interruptions.

Reflective activity

Clinical skills articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

How you think this article will change your practice when informing relatives and loved ones of a patient’s death.

How you could use this article to educate your colleagues.

Subscribers can upload their reflective accounts at: rcni.com/portfolio.

Nursing Standard. 30, 34, 36-38. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.34.36.s45

Correspondence

m.guest@hull.ac.uk

Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 10 February 2016

Accepted: 24 February 2016

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