oa Professional Nursing Today - The psychological effects of death and disease on a nurse : nursing matters

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1607-6672



Jeanette arrives home at 20h00 after a 12-hour shift. As she reaches for the doorknob, she mulls over the day's events. Today, her favourite patient died after a long battle with cancer. Although she knew that her patient was terminal, she had always hoped for a miracle. The lingering smell of her cancer-riddled patient is abruptly replaced by the smell of something burning. Jeanette rushes into the room, to find her husband hovering over the stove in an attempt to save the remains of what was supposed to have been supper. She rushes into his arms for a tight embrace, amidst a flood of tears. How can she stop herself from becoming so attached to her patients? How can she stop caring to save herself from having a mental breakdown?

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