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Bereavement Care Team: Improving ICU Nurses’ Professional Bereavement and Patient Family Experience

Nurs Adm Q. 2024 Apr-Jun 01;48(2):97-106. doi: 10.1097/NAQ.0000000000000634. Epub 2024 Mar 29.


When nurses care for dying patients, their compassion fatigue may increase and lead to burnout and feelings of professional bereavement. However, if a nurse perceives that the patient had a “good death,” it may have a positive impact on them and reduce their emotional distress. The purpose of this project is to reduce nurses’ feelings of professional bereavement by implementing a Bereavement Care Team (BCT) in the intensive care unit (ICU). This study is a pre-post quasi-experimental design. The Chen and Chow bereavement subscales Factor 1 and Factor 2 measured elements of a nurse’s professional bereavement, and 5 items were statistically significant. Nurses felt a reduction in their exhaustion, frustration, and feeling fatigue in their job, reduced feelings about being nervous and worried about potential professional/patient conflicts, and nurses were moved by the patient’s family’s understanding of the patient’s death. Implementing a BCT in the ICU provided an environment that created a “good death” for the patient and their loved ones. These findings supported the need for the BCT as they demonstrated an improvement in the ICU nurses’ feelings of professional bereavement.

PMID:38564720 | DOI:10.1097/NAQ.0000000000000634

By Nevin Manimala

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