Working Through Grief and Loss

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Research Review: Working Through Grief and Loss

Research Review: Working Through Grief and Loss: Oncology Nurses Perspectives on Professional Bereavement
By: Lara Grinceri, RN
Grand Canyon University

The purpose of this article is to look at the role of Professional Oncology Nurse, their obstacles to care, in terms of grief and loss, and determine possible supportive interventions. [ (Jennifer Wenzel, 2011) ] As the oncology patient population continues to grow, so does the demand for experienced, expertly trained oncology nurses. The role of the oncology nurse is challenged by many outside forces, such as increased workloads, heightened patient acuity and complexity, and repeated contacts with suffering patients and caregivers. [ (Jennifer Wenzel, 2011) ]. Due to the nature of their role, these specialized nurses are a limited resource, and due to the high emotional complexity of their patients, can result in a higher than normal turnover rate. This is often in the form of burn-out or compassion fatigue from the constant interactions with death or dying situations. It is critical for nursing to recognize and identify the emotional, as well as physical, barriers to care, and intervene before burnout or compassion fatigue is able to occur. This study looks at the collaboration of a mid-Atlantic University NCI (National Cancer Institute) teaching hospital and affiliated school of nursing , to research their oncology nursing population, and create a plan to manage work-related bereavement, specific to work settings, and to create a supportive program for nurses to help other nurses build a resilience to compassion fatigue. [ (Jennifer Wenzel, 2011) ]

This study used a qualitative, or descriptive, research approach. It utilized focus groups comprised of oncology nurses to identify three main key components/variables: (1)…...

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