How Losing a Young Patient Impacts Nursing Staff

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Jack Fredette
Julia Nail
Julia Hartinger
Paul Lewis


By Jack Fredette, Nursing; Julia Nail, Nursing; Julia Hartinger, Nursing

Advisor: Paul Lewis

Presentation ID: 8

Abstract: For many people, losing a loved one is hard. This can also take a toll on the nurses that have provided care for this patient. It can be even more taxing on pediatric nurses because they are losing a patient at such a young age. We believe that talking about death is extremely hard to do in a pediatric population due to patient ages and can sometimes be overlooked. In the hospital setting, debriefing sessions often include topics such as what happened to cause the patient's death and what can be done in the future to prevent the death. Post-mortem debriefing sessions fail to incorporate and acknowledge the feelings of loss among the healthcare providers. Although some hospitals offer employee support services such as therapy sessions, the constant cycle of death among pediatric patients can take a toll on nurses and lead to decreased job satisfaction, worsening mental health outcomes, and burnout. Therefore, we felt that focusing on education and coping mechanisms can ultimately help pediatric nurses in this difficult time and also lead to less burnout among these nurses.

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Category: Stress, Trauma, & Addiction