Coping with Death for Nurses and Caregivers

Coping with death is something we have to learn to do . . .

When you join the caring professions, whether as a nurse or a doctor, a paramedic, or a police officer, you are going to have to accept that you will come across death in your line of work.

Your roles are some of the most rewarding in the world, and you will gain immense satisfaction working in the caring professions. But dealing with death is something that we have to learn to do. It is not easy, but by supporting each other, we can learn to deal with it and stay positive.

Dark clouds for coping with death before the hope of sunrise

The emotional highs and lows of coping with life and death

There are many emotional highs and lows in our jobs. When someone recovers or is rescued from a dangerous position, you will feel on top of the world. Other days, you will have some terrible lows when someone dies or is badly injured. You will have to cope with many grieving relatives and people in shock. It is never easy.

You will find also yourselves grieving from time to time, and many of the pages on this site will be helpful for you in learning how to deal with grief and the emotions of grief, so do explore some of the pages in those sections from the columns on the left.

Advice for those in the caring professions

The pages in this section are written primarily with nurses and carers in mind, since that reflects my own experience, but they will be of use to anyone who is facing the death of someone, whether someone they know or a stranger in the course of their daily work. If you are a young person, just starting out in the caring professions, then much of the information in this site will be of use, not only in coping with death yourself, but also in how to help families and other carers in their grief.

I have prepared some pages of advice for nurses working on the wards, including the challenges of the children’s wards, and carers looking after patients in nursing homes or hospices.

Even if you are not in the caring professions, but you have someone in hospital or in a nursing home, feel free to read all of these pages, as they will help you to understand what is happening, and it will all feel far less frightening. Never be afraid to ask questions, however daft they may seem. It is a difficult time for all concerned and everyone needs to pull together and be there for each other.


Coping with death in the nursing, caring and other related professions.

Dealing with death on children’s wards

Help parents cope with the death of a baby

Signs of approaching death

Things to be done in the event of a death

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross - On Death and Dying


I wish you all strength and compassion in your journey through life and death. 

If you are coping with Alzheimer's disease you might find our book helpful.  Written by the author of this website, Elizabeth Postle, it has a lot of practical information about caring, as well as emotional support to help with the grief and stress of caring.  Click on the book to learn more. 

> Coping with Death


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Memorial Magnolia Tree

The Magnolia is one of the earth's oldest plants, with a spectacular flower which dates back 95 million years.  What a beautiful specimen to commemorate a life. 

These trees are grown by the foremost magnolia nursery in the country and they will send a variety most suited to the recipient's climate. 

The flowers in spring will bring joy to the bereaved and help to heal their heart.


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