Loss and Grief

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Loss and grief in nursing is a widely discussed psychosocial theory and in this essay we will look at it further in nursing care. Loss is an inevitable part of life, and grief is a natural part of the healing process, or to be defined individually, “Loss is wider than a response to a death, important as that is. It is any separation from someone or something whose significance is such that it impacts our physical or emotional well-being, role and status” (Weinstien 2008, p.2). “Bereavement is the response to a loss. It is a core human experience, common to, and also varying across all cultures and historical periods. Grief is the interpersonal or psychological expression of the bereavement” (Weinstien 2008, p.3). In this essay we also explain the importance of nurses understanding loss and grief and its significant role in nursing care. We also want to illustrate the different responses too loss and how we as nurses can help and care during the grieving process. This can be helped achieved through the different theories of loss which we also look at and how we can apply these theories in nursing care and practice. Wright (2007), talks extensively about the different forms of loss and how life changes produce feelings of loss which lead too grief. These life changes could vary from the death of a spouse or close friend to the death of a pet or loss of a job to retirement. Each form will have different effects on different individuals. As Penson (1990) points out that death and loss of a loved one is something in life that we are all likely to experience and more often as professionals in nursing care. This is also highlighted in an article from the Nursing Standard. It conveys that death is a situation that is frequently encountered by nurses and other healthcare professionals in the course of their work. It is important that nurses have a good understanding of the reactions and responses to grief and bereavement so that they are in a better position to...
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