Sorry for such a blunt title but this is a question I have been pondering since accepting a new assignment. I will be working in long term care, and haven't had a day on the floor yet. However, I do work in the ER now and whenever a patient dies, the MD talks to the family, so I never have to be the first one to break the news.
Obviously I would not come out and say the patient died so bluntly. I am more worried about how to respond when the family asks questions. For example, what if I don't know the exact time of death? Do I say the patient was soundly sleeping at 0300, but on rounds at 0500 the patient had passed away? What if they are a full code and they obviously gone? Sorry for such questions but this has got me a little nervous!