Death and Dying Experiences (Essay Sample)
Death Studies, 35: 824-851, 2011
ON THE JOURNEY WITH THE DYING:
HOW GENERAL PRACTITIONERS EXPERIENCE THE DEATH OF THEIR PATIENTS
SOFIA C. ZAMBRANO
Discipline of Psychiatry, Royal Adelaide Hospital, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
CHRISTOPHER A. BARTON
School of Population Health and Clinical Practice, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australiasource..
Death and Dying Experiences
Death and dying affects different parties involved differently from the patient that is dying and the family members to the medical practitioners. Zambrano and Barton try to evaluate the kind of experience that the general practitioners have with their dying patients along side some other medical professionals such as the physicians. This journey with the dying patients has been divided into five distinctive stages namely the; acknowledgement, diagnosis communication, care of the patient, the moment of death and the last stage where the medical practitioners look out for the families. In all of the stages of the journey, the practitioners had ways of coping with the experience of death laid out as a mechanism. Other than the fact that they had devised a mechanism to monitor death of the patient, the appraisal of death was more crucial (Zambrano & Barton, 2011). Other factors included the timelessness of death, awareness of death, learning about death, professional identity, death beliefs, personal performance evaluation and finality of death.
When the patient takes a long time to die, there is the anticipatory grief, in which case the parties have time to adjust to the expectations of loss. As for the medical teams, they have time to indulge in guilt and at the moment of death the feeling will have subsided. While the general practitioners have a tendency to be affected by their first experience while still students in training, the doctors and the physicians are trained to contain their emotions and therefore react differently in times of death or towards their dying patients. This is in view of maintaining the medical and professional objectiveness in the physicians. For most of the GPs in the study, the training does not prepare them properly for experience. For the GP...
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