How to Cope with Patient Death

 In Nurses Weekly

This is one of those occurrences that no institution, no book, and no rotation can ever prepare you for. This is a reality that inevitably comes upon us, sometimes forewarned and other times when we least expect it. If you’re like me, you’re a giver. Naturally, you develop love, an affection, a deep concern for those you are responsible for caring for. So, rightfully, it hurts to watch a patient go and to have the knowledge of the inevitable reality that the family has yet to accept or believe.

However, you also need to intuitively understand the need in professional life for a balance between compassion and healthy emotional boundaries. Because in this line of work, you must continue to love, to give, to heal, and to nurture, despite the unfavorable outcomes and endings. Here are five ways I’ve come to accept the process of letting go without experiencing emotional and mental paralysis.

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