Dealing with death is always hard. But when you are working on the wards, or in a nursing home, getting organised and focusing in on the tasks you have to do make it easier for you to cope.
Here are some basics that need to be done in the event of a death on a ward or in a nursing home:
Caring should be extended to the other patients on the ward or in the nursing home who will also be upset and shocked at the death. They need support too in dealing with death, as they may have built up a relationship with the other patient, or it may just be frightening for them.
Other clients still need to be cared for. Relatives visiting the deceased need cups of tea and support. It is a busy time.
the deceased is in a hospital ward, then relatives may wish to take their belongings home. These should have been catalogued, especially any
valuables and need a signature from a relative before releasing them.
Some valuables may have been locked in the office safe.
In a nursing home setting where a resident has been living for a long time, the family may have to return another day to empty a full room. All these discussions have to be dealt with tactfully and calmly. There is usually a member of the family who takes charge and can cope better than others.
Once the undertakers have taken over the care of the deceased, the bed has to be stripped and cleaned. The room, lockers and wardrobes emptied ready for the cleaners to come in.
Initially, dealing with death is relatively easy because of getting organised with all the tasks that need to be done. Coping emotionally comes later. The following links will take you to more advice about dealing with the grief of death on the wards.
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