This very accessible, straightforward book helps to allay those concerns and enables pre-registration students to prepare confidently for the challenges they will face when they are caring for dying patients and supporting their families. Each chapter is based on a different and realistic scenario - reflecting a range of circumstances - to demonstrate the essential generic knowledge and skills they need to develop, and draws out the important practical and theoretical issues students should consider and address if patients and their families are to receive the best possible care. Written by two experienced palliative care lecturer/practitioners, and mapping closely to the NMC's 2010 domains, End-of-Life Nursing Care is tailored to the needs of student nurses working with adult patients. Annie Pettifer and Joanna de Souza explore the importance of their role in end-of-life care and how this interfaces with the roles of other multidisciplinary professionals involved in the care of their patients. It will also be helpful to students of other health care professions and support newly-qualified healthcare professionals working in adult health.

Responding to Questions about the End of Life

Responding to Questions about the End of Life

Responding to questions about the end of life
Annie Pettifer

This chapter will explore:

  • Why good communication matters
  • Blocking and facilitating communication strategies
  • Why health care professionals block communication with dying patients and their families
  • Who should respond to difficult questions?
  • Breaking bad news sensitively
  • Sources of support for students


Communication between nurses and patients arguably forms the foundation of all health care. It is the interaction between two or more people that conveys meaningful information between them. Sensitive and skilled communication is particularly key to caring for patients who are facing the end of their lives. Therefore, mastery of this interaction by health care professionals will enhance the end-of-life care hugely. This chapter focuses on communication in end-of-life care covering the crucial areas of ...

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