[The impact of perinatal death on nurses and their coping strategies].

Hu li za zhi The journal of nursing

PubMedID: 23386529

Chen FH, Hu WY. [The impact of perinatal death on nurses and their coping strategies]. Hu Li Za Zhi. 2013;60(1):87-91.
Nurses are expected to care for grieving women and families suffering from perinatal loss. However, these losses can also significantly impact upon the emotional state of nurses. Failure to adjust may endanger the affected nurse's health and render him or her unable or unwilling to provide continuous quality care. There has been little prior research addressing the effect of patient perinatal loss on nurses tasked with providing nursing care. This paper focuses on internal perceptions and external stresses to explore the impact of this traumatic experience on nurses and related coping strategies. We found that nurses experience a grieving process similar to those directly suffering from perinatal loss. Nurses feel sadness, incompetence, and helplessness but dare not cry in order to protect their professional image. They may also worry about the potential legal risks of verbalizing or otherwise expressing their feelings. Strategies frequently used to adjust to the emotional strain include limiting his or her commitment to the patient, seeking emotional escape, and talking to colleagues. Therefore, it is important to develop institute- or hospital-based emotional support networks and training programs and evidence-based nursing care standards for this important issue. This paper also suggests future policies, nursing strategies and further research directions.