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Grief Sim

Linfield College

I conducted a simulation with multiple patients that included a patient who was dying of stage 4 lung cancer. He was leaving behind a wife and two young boys. During the simulation, he was a full code and at one point, due to severe hypoxia, lost his pulse, so the students had to run a code blue on him. The patient was in asystole, and they seemed unable to bring him back. The wife was distraught but did not want him to suffer anymore, so she asked that we stop CPR and place him on comfort measures only. The students had to learn how to support a grieving family while handling their own grief and understanding of their own mortality. They also had to go through the process of post-mortem care and transplantation services. The simulation took about 30 minutes, but the debriefing process took about one and a half hours. The debriefing period was very therapeutic, and the students verbalized all their feelings and take-aways, including similar experiences they have had in a real clinical situation.  There were a great many tears, but the students felt better prepared to deal with a mortality in a clinical setting. I have conducted a version of this simulation with RN and PN students and have receivamazing results.