The client from our case scenario, Mr. Wu, who is a 35 years old fireman in Hong Kong and breadwinner of his family, he is married and has a son called Tim who are 15 years old. During an industrial building blaze, he was found unconscious by his teammates on the building’s fourth floor as firefighters were changing shifts to leave the site. He is admitted to my ward and I am the nurse responsible to take care of Mr. Wu. Unfortunately, Mr. Wu passes away one week after his hospitalization. Three months later, I have a chance to meet Mrs. Wu and Tim after Mr. Wu has passed away. According to Tim, Mrs. Wu stopped playing tennis, an activity that had been a passion of her. Mrs. Wu no longer attended church, stating that whatever faith she had was squashed when Mr. Wu was taken so cruelly from her. Mrs. Wu had lost 10 pounds and, previously well groomed, now always looked untidy and bewildered. She cried often and became angry when Tim asked if she wanted to go on a trip with him. She told Tim that she didn’t know what to do with herself and that she no longer had a purpose without Mr. Wu. One night, Tim had found her sitting on Mr. Wu’s favorite chair. Sobbing, Mrs. Wu told Tim that Mr. Wu had asked her to cook him breakfast at that fateful day, but she refused and go play tennis instead. Tim cried and told me that he needed his father back, he became angry and told me that his life was empty. I explained the signs of complicated grief to Tim. You gave Tim pamphlets for the bereavement resource center and some reading materials and websites.
In this essay, the Kübler-Ross model – five stages of grief is applied. The effect on Mrs. Wu and her son in psychological and social aspects on the death of Mr. Wu will be discussed and there are several strategies of therapeutic communication by the nurse when communicating with Mrs. Wu and her son are suggested. The resources on psychological support and financial support in the local health care system and in the community to help Mrs. Wu and her son to go through the grief and bereavement process will also be identified.
During the hospitalization of the client
The five stages of grief developed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross is applied in taking care of Mr. Wu and his family. The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (Kübler-Ross, 2005). It is a series of emotions that may be experienced by Mrs. Wu and Tim as they are about to loss their loved one.
During the hospitalization of Mr. Wu, as he is unconscious, he is considered as a dying patient. His wife, Mrs Wu and his son, Tim may first go through the stage of denial and shock. In this stage, people tends to reject and deny the fact of the dying situation of the loved one. Mrs. Wu and Tim may respond at first by being paralyzed with shock or blanketed with numbness after noticing the dying situation of Mr. Wu (Kübler-Ross, 2005). They may say that “Mr. Wu is not going to die” or “it is impossible that he is dying”. As a nurse, it is important to build rapport with Mr. Wu’s family by offering self and by their side to attend to their needs. Besides, a nurse should support the defense mechanism and reassuring them that denial is normal and show by our own behaviour and attitudes that it is permissible for them to express grief and allow them to express their feelings so they would know that they can trust the nurse with his feelings (NursingCrib,2014).
Mrs. Wu and Tim may move on to the anger stage after they discover that that denial cannot continue. Anger is necessary stage of the healing process, it may present in many ways which does not have to be logical or valid May experience guilt, when anger turn toward self. (Kübler-Ross, 2005). Mrs. Wu and Tim may emotionally blame the person who cause the fire accident which put Mr. Wu to the dying situation or even blame the god for taking away live of Mr. Wu who saves lives in a fire accident is not fair. At this situation, a nurse should allow them to talk and express feelings because it can help the client to relieve distress. On the other hand, nurse can explain the role of anger in the grief process to help the Mrs. Wu and Tim focus on their grief rather than the perceived shortcomings (Williams, 2016).