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Communicating with the Bereaved

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the key nonverbal components of sensitive communication.
  • Identify the key verbal components of sensitive communication.
  • Identify what to say and not say when conversing with the bereaved.
  • Describe three common ways of responding to the bereaved.
  • Define culturally sensitive communication with bereaved persons.

Available in English

30 minutes

Nurses, social Workers, clergy and other healthcare professionals taking online bereavement training to help them better meet the needs of families suffering loss throughout the continuum of life, receive continuing education credit (CEUs) with an 80% passing grade, and upon completion of the course evaluation.

Nurse Contact Hours: 1.1
Social Worker Contact Hours: 1.0
Chaplain Contact Hours: 1.2

Course Outline
  • Introduction
  • General Communication Skills
  • Verbal Communication
  • Culturally Sensitive Communication
Regulations
  • Canales, M.K. (2000). Othering: Toward an understanding of difference. Advances in Nursing Science, 22(4), 16-31.
  • Canales, M.K., & Bowers, B.J. (2001). Expanding conceptualizations of culturally competent care. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 36(1), 102-111.
  • Golden, T.R. (1996). Swallowed by a snake: the gift of the masculine side of healing. Kensington, MD: Golden Healing Publishing L. L. C.
  • Golden, T.R., & Miller, J.E. (1998). When a man faces grief: 12 practical ideas to help you heal from loss. Fort Wayne, IN: Willowgreen Publishing.
  • Levinson, W., Roter, D.L., Mullooly, J.P., Dull, V.T., & Frankel, R.M. (1997).Physician-patient communication: The relationship with malpractice claims among primary care physicians and surgeons. JAMA, 277(7), 553-559.
  • Mehrabian, A., & Ferris, S.R. (1967). Inference of attitudes from nonverbal communication in two channels. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 31, 248-252.
  • Mehrabian, A., & Wiener, M. (1967). Decoding of inconsistent communications. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6, 109-114.
  • Midland, D. (Ed.) (2002). Compassionate bereavement care: A model for program growth. La Crosse, WI: Bereavement Services, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation.
  • Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care. (2002). Childbearing loss and grief position statement. http://www.perinatalweb.org/images/stories/PDFs/Materials%20and%20Publication/childbearing%20loss%20and%20grief_statement.pdf. . Retrieved December 21, 2004
  • Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care. (2003). "I'm Sorry" card. Retrieved December 21, 2004 . http://www.perinatalweb.org/images/stories/PDFs/Materials%20and%20Publication/im%20sorry.PDF
  • Witter, D.M., Tolle, S.W., & Moseley, J.R. (1990). A bereavement program: Good care, quality assurance, and risk management. Hospital & Health Services Administration, 35(2), 263-275.