Role of the family support person during resuscitation
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Role of the family support person during resuscitation

Elita-Mae Cottle Staff nurse, Treatment Centre, Royal United Hospital, Bath
Jayne Elizabeth James Senior lecturer in nursing, University of the West of England, Education Centre, Royal United Hospital, Bath

This article discusses family witnessed resuscitation and describes the need for a healthcare professional to be available to support the family before and during this experience. Careful explanation and emotional support are required during the event and if cardiopulmonary resuscitation is unsuccessful, further explanation and support will be required. A family support person is usually a nurse but could also be a hospital chaplain or social worker. The chaplain’s background and ability to interpret medical information, combined with the emotional and spiritual support he or she can offer, make the chaplain suitable for this role. However, for some patients and families a chaplain’s involvement might not be appropriate. The authors suggest that further research and evidence-based guidance should be developed to maximise the benefits of a family support person’s presence during witnessed resuscitation.

Nursing Standard. 23, 9, 43-47. doi: 10.7748/ns2008.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review