Talking about death: how and when to broach difficult conversations

Expert nurses share what they have learned about supporting patients when they get bad news
woman dabs her face with a tissue as nurse talks to her

Expert nurses share what they have learned about supporting patients when they get bad news

  • Initiating discussion with patients about death is daunting, and many nurses report feeling ill-prepared to do so
  • Clear information, sensitively offered can significantly improve the end of life care experience for individuals and families
  • Insights and guidance from expert nurses will help you make these important but difficult conversations count

Compassionate communication is, of course, fundamental to nursing.

Yet when it comes to breaking bad news or talking through potentially life-changing results with patients and their families, it is common for nurses to feel ill-equipped.

Nurses say they lack confidence in discussing death

Earlier this year, Nursing Standard and Marie Curie surveyed