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Preparing Students for the Toughest Aspect of Their Nursing Careers

Posted by Brian Spence on Jan 8, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Nurse, Nursing, Healthcare, Death, Healthcare StaffingThe worst part of a nursing job isn't bathing patients, helping them to the bathroom or emptying colostomy bags. It's not the difficult patients that are angry and rude. It's not the long hours or all the time you spend on your feet. The worst part of being a nurse, is watching a patient you cared for die.

Along with processing your own emotions as a caretaker, you are also responsible for a secondary level of care, the care you extend to the family and friends of the deceased. They will have questions.  They will be emotional, on edge or angry. This is easily the most difficult part of the job.

Through this process, they will look to you for answers, and sometimes you just won't have them. 

One nursing school is taking a new approach in training future nurses to handle end of life care. The nursing program at the University of Alabama at Huntsville has teamed up with the theater department to help create a realistic experience of the emotionally charged environment nurses may face when they have patients die.

According to the FierceHealthcare article, "End-of-life Care: Nursing School Tries New Approach to Prepare Nurses for Patient Deaths" by David Ferguson,

"Previously, nursing students worked with a high-fidelity "human patient simulator" in a mock-up of a hospital room with instructors and their aides playing the parts of family members, while administrators observed behind a one-way mirror and then gave feedback. But it was missing a real-life component, according to Maria Steele, clinical assistant professor of nursing, who decided to get the theater department involved and create scenarios that may be uncomfortable for nurses."

The hope is that giving nurses training that more closely mirrors real life situations will help them avoid saying hurtful or damaging things to the deceased's loved ones.

Great health care is always looking for new approaches to improve patient care. If you are looking for a job with a health care organizations that is more innovative in their approaches to patient care, please contact us. To learn more about this and related topics, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.

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