Sudden death in emergency care: responding to bereaved relatives

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Tricia Scott outlines five simple exercises practitioners can complete to reflect on the support they give to people whose loved ones have died suddenlyMany emergency nurses find it difficult to support relatives whose loved ones are being resuscitated or to witness relatives' distress after their family members have died. When such events occur, emergency practitioners have few opportunities to engage effectively with relatives and so they must get it right first time, every time. Consequently, they need to be able to give information sensitively, and express compassion and empathy, to bereaved relatives. This article discusses these issues and includes exercises that practitioners can undertake to identify their personal strengths and professional competences when caring for suddenly bereaved relatives.

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