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Ritual: The final expression of care

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Hospice nurses know that all their patients will die. There are several potential benefits of including rituals and healing practices into the hospice care setting for staff. Evidence suggests that not only does it provide an outlet for hospice workers to express their grief and reflect on their work in an accepting environment; providing closure for their patient's passing but it has also been shown to decrease the risk of burnout and compassion fatigue. This article discusses the important aspects of grief rituals and provides an illustrative example of one such ritual.

Keywords: burnout; compassion fatigue; grief; nursing; ritual

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: PhD Student, Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, Nevada, USA 2: Director, Circle of Life Hospice, Reno, Nevada, USA

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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