Module Introduction

Module Introduction

 “Families are suddenly put in a situation they are unprepared for and are totally overwhelmed. It hits them all at once when a long-standing chronic illness becomes life-threatening or when a loved one falls unexpectedly at home and the injury is mortal”. - ICU Nurse

Being at the bedside of a patient admitted to the ICU is a visceral experience for families. Each new family member who enters the room for the first time can bring another wave of emotion.

Constructing a positive relationship with the family by supporting them in their trauma and grief can facilitate decision-making, enhance family experience, and lead to better


Bereavement is defined as the objective experience of having lost someone significant through death.

outcomes. There are countless small interventions you can do to support families and make meaningful differences. Your relationships with families may be short-term, but your efforts can have a long-lasting impact.


Our words and actions can have a big impact on families

By completing this module, you will:

  • Learn ways to prepare the families for possible death and the removal of life support.
  • Discover ways to minimize vicarious trauma for families when death occurs.
  • Examine strategies for interacting with family members when difficulties arise.
  • Explore strategies for follow-up after death.