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A Memorial Service to Remember Renal Patients Who Have Died
  1. Rebekah S Nulsen and
  2. Helen Noble
  1. Rebekah S Nulsen is Counsellor, Renal Services, Barts and The London NHS Trust, Royal London Hospital, London, and Helen Noble is Lecturer, Adult Nursing, City University, London, and doctoral student, Barts and The London NHS Trust, London. Email: rebekah.nulsen{at}bartsandthelondon.nhs.uk

Abstract

In the field of renal nursing, long-term relationships are often formed with patients. Chronic kidney disease is a life-threatening, irreversible condition that requires intensive, ongoing nursing intervention in order to sustain the life of sufferers. However, many renal patients die each year. In order to acknowledge the significance of the lives of renal patients to bereaved relatives and support those nurses providing renal care within Barts and The London NHS Trust, a service of remembrance is provided by the supportive and palliative care renal team. Elements from various religious traditions are included in the service, as well as non-religious readings, aimed at creating an inclusive atmosphere, sensitive to an ethnically and culturally diverse patient group. Feedback from families and staff members has been overwhelmingly positive. The service is offered annually, as a celebration of life. This article examines nurses’ responses to death when they work in areas of high patient mortality and the role of a service of remembrance in meeting the needs of bereaved families, friends and staff. Conflicts of interest: none

  • Bereavement care
  • Palliative and supportive care
  • Renal care
  • Service of remembrance
  • Spiritual care

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