Vol. 25 No. 1 (2021): Journal of Nursing Pensar Enfermagem
Original Articles

Learning how to care for families in transition to mourning and loss

Fátima Moreira Rodrigues
Professora Adjunta, Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Lisboa, Doutora em Ciências de educação, Especialista em Enfermagem de Saúde Familiar

Published 2021-10-20


  • Learning,
  • caring,
  • nursing,
  • families,
  • mourning

How to Cite

Moreira Rodrigues, F. (2021). Learning how to care for families in transition to mourning and loss. Pensar Enfermagem, 25(1), 5–17. https://doi.org/10.56732/pensarenf.v25i1.177


Learning how to care for families to experience loss and grief processes requires an understanding of the characteristics of the family system that affect the grieving process, as well as the perception that each person and each family member differs in the expression of their grief (Delalibera, Presa, Coelho, Barbosa & Franco, 2015).

Describes a study with a qualitative approach on the learning of students in the last semester of the nursing degree course to care for families experiencing transitions of loss and grief. The sample, obtained by snowball, consists of 42 participants, 46% students, 27% teachers and 27% nurse tutors. The collection of information was obtained through semi-structured interviews, which were subsequently submitted to content analysis. Participants consider that there is a lack of preparation to take care of families as a care client. The learning and contexts of clinical practice are not always promoters of significant experiences so that students learn to assess the needs of the family to live loss processes and to accompany them in the elaboration of mourning. Students tend to focus on the sick person, ignoring the family's needs and not integrating it into the care process. Learning to care for families is an area that needs to be developed in nursing. Nurses consider that we are in an initial phase when it comes to taking care of families as a care client. 


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