To improve residents ability to notify family members and significant others following the death of a patient
1. Residents will be able to articulate the stages of the “GRIEV-ING” Model
2. Residents will be able to apply this model during various role plays
Learning Activity (2-hour workshop):
1. Short didactic on why death notification is an important skill and the significant verbal and nonverbal characteristics of empathic communication (20 minutes)
2. Small group activity facilitated by program faculty, hospital chaplain or hospital social worker. The focus of this small group activity is to ask residents to share personal experiences about the death of a patient and share communication skills that individuals felt were effective or ineffective for interacting with the family. Discussion questions are included in the appendix to the article.
3. Mini-lecture introducing the GRIEV-ING mnemonic. This mnemonic helps residents remember the appropriate steps to take when notifying family members or significant others about death.
4. Paired role-play – In these role-play residents received and delivered a death notification using the GRIEV-ING mnemonic. They were encouraged to provide helpful feedback to their colleagues
5. Simulated survivor encounter – Residents provided death notification in each of three scenarios portrayed by the simulated survivors. .Residents received feedback on their performance. Example scenarios and checklists for the simulated survivors are included in the article
The assessment for this activity is contained in the simulated survivor feedback and assessment tool included as an appendix to the article.
While this model was used within an Emergency Medicine program, it would be equally valuable for other specialties in which notifying families and significant others of a patient’s death are required.