Grief Management After a Nurse's Death

Judy E. Davidson, DNP, RN, MCCM, FAAN; Rachael Accardi, MA, LMFT; Courtney Sanchez, LCSW; Sidney Zisook, MD


Am Nurs Journal. 2019;14(11):30-32, 47. 

In This Article

Upon Learning of a Death

When a colleague death occurs, the team divides the work at hand. Use a prepared phone list to ensure everyone on the team has been contacted and that their roles are clear. Members of the team who worked closely with the decease nurse may need to be relieved from their duties and provided with support resources.

The deceased nurse's unit manager finds replacements if friends can't work during their shift because of acute grief. The manager also anticipates sick calls for the following days and proactively changes the schedule so that friends are offered days off for the funeral and memorial.

In the days to follow, leadership increases rounding to allow colleagues to express their feelings.