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Adelani Temiloluwa
School Of Nursing Ondo
Nursing Student
300Level, Nigeria.

Talking about dying is a skill that can be learned and improved. The elites have irreparable life policy, most times death is estimated within a specific period or confirmed, but the maturity period for one’s death is unknown, hence it’s always irreparable.

We come across different types of emotions as health care personnel which are not at all seemed permanent and also the quality of healthcare that patients receive towards the end of life can significantly have a great impact on the surviving family and friends as well as the patient.

Health personnel giving a good end-of-life care ensure that the patient’s families are able to access support that they may need at this difficult time and that bereavement support is also accessible.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

These may include, when illness is diagnosed and continues regardless of whether or not a patient receives treatment directed at the disease condition, offering support system to help patient live actively until death, providing psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care.

Nurses’ roles and responsibilities for care at the end of life are grounded in the fundamentals of excellent practice and clinical ethics. Respect for patient autonomy is an important dimension of clinical decision making, including at the end of life.

Talking about dying can help someone with a terminal illness to express their concerns and fears, and help them to make plans for what’s important to them.

It can bring up uncomfortable emotions for you and for the person who is dying and also the family, but there are things you can do to make the conversation easier and more meaningful which are; express their concerns and fears-it help reduce their anxiety and fear, understand more about their illness and what’s going to happen to them, make decisions about things including making a Will or making funeral plans.

Starting the conversation can be difficult, but if you start by asking questions like; If you were to become more unwell, what would be important to you, If you were to become more unwell, who would you want to be around you? The person might open up to you and start the conversation themselves. They might ask direct questions or they might start talking about death in a less obvious way. Be aware of more subtle cues that they might want to talk to you about dying. For example, they might say things such as: I’m I not getting better?etc. They are some clues for a better conservation

Listening well- We communicate through our body language and tone of voice as well as the words we use. You can use your body language to make people feel more comfortable and also make them feel uncomfortable. For instance, give them full attention and keep focusing on their face.

Summarizing the conversation– At the end of the discussion, sum up what you have understood and ask the person if you’ve missed anything.

Allow your patient to ask questions- Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers. It’s better to admit you don’t know than try to make something up. You can try and find the answers to their questions and let them know later.

What other support is available?
If someone has questions about their illness that you can’t answer, it might be helpful for them to speak to their doctor or nurse. If they’re distressed or anxious about dying, speaking with a psychologist or counsellor can help them to explore their thoughts and feelings and find ways to manage them, speaking with a social worker can help in terms of finance, they might also wish to speak to their religious leader to discuss spiritual issues.

Talking about dying can be challenging for you as well. It may trigger memories of people you have lost or care about in your personal life. This is normal but if your feelings are interfering with your work or personal life, it is a good idea to get some support. Talking to your manager or other colleagues about your experiences can be helpful.

If you feel you need extra support, you could consider seeing a counsellor or psychologist.

"If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he's dead, then maybe he was a great man". -James Dean

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