Medical Practice

Dying in hospital: the residents' viewpoint

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.285.6343.712 (Published 11 September 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:712
  1. S Ahmedzai

    Abstract

    A survey of residents' (junior house officers') experiences and attitudes to the terminal care part of their work in four Glasgow teaching hospitals showed that even a month after starting work one-fifth of the respondents had not actively managed a dying patient. Sixty-four per cent thought that they had received inadequate teaching in terminal care. Depression and anxiety had been the most difficult symptoms encountered. The residents thought that the ward nursing staff contributed much more than their senior medical colleagues to both the medical and psychological aspects of terminal care. The results indicate a need for more undergraduate education in the most relevant areas, such as coping with the psychological problems of dying patients and their relatives. Newly qualified residents require more support from senior medical staff in looking after the terminally ill.

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