Communicating With Seriously Ill and Dying Patients, Their Families, and Their Healthcare Practitioners
When nurses communicate with their dying patients and the patients’ families, they have a clearer understanding of their patients’ needs and goals at the end of life. This chapter explores ways to encourage both nursing students and graduate nurses to facilitate communication with dying patients, their families, and their healthcare providers. It also explores ways in which nursing faculty members might assist undergraduate nursing students to enrich themselves by working with dying patients. The chapter is organized according to the phases of the therapeutic relationship because in many ways the phases of the therapeutic relationship—introductory, working, and termination—parallel the dying trajectory. When appropriate in the phases, distinctions are made between the roles and educational needs of the undergraduate nursing student, the nurse with an undergraduate degree, and the nurse with an advanced practice degree.