Coping with patient death
Written by Sarah Brooks
For doctors and nurses, the toughest part of their job is when they lose a patient. How do they deal?
Some internalize their emotions and become numb to the situation, some externalize the problem and talk about it to other staff members and others, even though this can be a bit morbid, use humor to avoid facing the actual emotions that they're feeling.
The best way doctors and nurses can help recover from the loss of a patient is by speaking with experienced doctors or senior nurses at the hospital.
Those who have been working at the hospital for years understand the grieving process and can sympathize to those going through it for the first time. Though losing a patient never gets easier, it does get easier to talk about it.
The way that doctors and nurses grieve also depends on what the relationship with the patient was like.
Length of Relationship Oftentimes Matters
Typically, it the relationship was long-standing and the doctor or nurse really got to know the patient on a personal level, the loss will be significantly greater than if the doctor or nurse had little to no relationship with the patient (though even that is difficult, too).
Unfortunately, most hospitals do not have a system in place that helps doctors or nurses when a patient is lost.
Some medical schools and hospitals train their students and staff on how to approach the grieving family, but there's very little advice or training on how they should help themselves.
Since each death is different and each situation is unique, hospitals and schools find it hard to provide any sort of formal training on the subject.
Also, since it's an emotional issue, there is no 'right or wrong' way to grieve - each individual must figure out what works for them.
It's important to realize, too, that most people who work in the medical field have a strong desire to help those around them and improve their quality of life.
Nurses are typically caring, compassionate, friendly and willing to go out of their way to help others.
Though logical, they have a big heart and can easily get emotional when dealing with the death of a patient. It's also perfectly fine for doctors and nurses to seek outside help in the form of a therapist or counselor to help sort through their emotions.
Answers Don’t Always Immediately Come
Nurses and doctors shouldn't expect to know or understand how they grieve right away.
It's a process that takes time, and while they can hope to handle the situations better with time, it's never going to get 'easier.'
Develop a support system within your hospital so you don't have to grieve alone. Be there for other staff members that may be grieving a loss and offer words of support and encouragement.
The hospital staff is a team and everyone should work together and develop a system to make sure everyone feels they can discuss their emotions freely.
About the Author
Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ. She covers options for dealing with ripoff report, personal finances, small businesses and travel.
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”