Loss and bereavement: a nursing response
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Loss and bereavement: a nursing response

Sue Read Lecturer in nursing, Keele University, Staffordshire and a bereavement counsellor

Aim and intended learning outcomes

The aim of this article is to promote the exploration of issues related to loss and bereavement from a nursing perspective. The concept of loss and its associated effects will be introduced; bereavement as loss will be identified and responses to loss and bereavement clarified; delivering difficult news as a skilled response will be explained; the impact of working with loss and bereavement will be discussed; and the roles and skills of the nurse in offering effective support will be explored. After reading this article you should be able to:

Define the concept of loss and its associated categories.

Identify five factors to consider when delivering difficult news.

List six potential responses to bereavement.

Describe three ways in which dealing with bereavement might affect both personal and professional practice.

Describe the potential roles and skills of the nurse in supporting people after loss and bereavement.

Primary Health Care. 12, 9,43-49. doi: 10.7748/phc2002.11.12.9.43.c403