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I currently work on a cardiac tele floor. While my floor may experience many people at a critical time of their life, we don’t see death every day. Recently we have had quite a few of our patients go on hospice. While I don’t see death every day, I have seen it quite often. I don’t look at death as a terrible thing. I feel that whenever God wants to take me I am ready. I am not afraid of death but how I would die. I feel that my faith has made me a better nurse because I feel when someone passes they are heading to a wonderful place. The fear of death is a universal phobia experienced by people, with societal preference strongly advocating the preservation of life (Lehto & Stein, 2009). Everyone has their own attitudes towards death shaped by personal, cultural, social and philosophical belief systems. As nurses, we can use Donnelly’s three nursing approaches to comfort the dying and their families:
- Offer compassionate accompaniment-this means to listen to the sick persons concerns, pray with them and even help mend broken relationships.
- Bring meaning to the situation and the person’s life-Encourage reminiscing with family members, read favorite bible passages or sing hymns they enjoy.
- Provide wonderful physical care-pain control is very important along with control of nausea and vomiting. Make the room as comfortable as possible and allow family to be with the patient as much as they want. (Shelly & Miller, 2006)
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