1. Miracle, Vickie RN, EdD, CCRN, CCNS, CCRC, Editor, DCCN

Article Content



Most of us, given a choice, would want to die peacefully in our sleep. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. While some deaths are totally unexpected, others are predictable. Unpredictable deaths can be especially difficult for the patients' families and the healthcare providers as well. Providing care to dying patients and their families requires the sum of our nursing skills. We can help make death a peaceful (and hopefully pain-free) process for the patient, the family, and the healthcare provider. This book enlightens readers on ways to help make the process of talking about death easier and to help all involved to conquer their fears.


The book is easy to read; topics covered include:


* how to talk about death


* how to make plans for children and business matters


* discussions about resuscitation effort


* iving wills


* dealing with doctors who may be uncomfortable with death


* providing the care needed by the patient and family at this difficult time


* dealing with pain.



Death can be a very difficult subject for many individuals. As critical care nurses we see death often. Some people consider death a defeat because ours is the business of saving lives. However, death is not always a defeat. It can be a spiritual experience and can be dignified. As critical care nurses we are in a prime position to make death as dignified as possible for the patient and the family. While it is not the easiest of our many job requirements, it can be one of the most rewarding. The author does an excellent job of explaining it. We all need to be reminded from time to time that we are not immortal.


Case studies heighten the book's readability and interest. Included are scenarios to which all critical care nurses can relate. Talking About Death: Comforting Advice About Uncomfortable Issues is essential reading for critical care nurses as well as all healthcare providers. Live for today, because tomorrow is never promised to any of us. As critical care nurses we feel the need to do something. However, at times, the best thing to do is nothing but simply be there.