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NCLEX® QOTD: Sudden death

Osmosis Team
Published on Jan 24, 2024. Updated on Jan 6, 2024.

Today's NCLEX-RN® question of the day focuses on a nurse who is revising the plan of care for a patient whose partner suddenly died in their sleep. Which intervention(s) should the nurse include? Can you figure it out?


The nurse is revising the plan of care for a patient whose partner suddenly died in their sleep. Which intervention(s) should the nurse include?

Select all that apply.

A. Explore how the patient has successfully coped with previous losses

B. Encourage the patient to share memories of their loved one

C. Advise the patient to avoid support groups during the first year of grief

D. Practice active listening techniques

E. Support patients’ participation in spiritual practices 

F. Avoid discussion of cultural norms


Scroll down for the correct answer!

The correct answers to today's NCLEX-RN® Question are...

A. Explore how the patient has successfully coped with previous losses

Rationale: Exploring how the patient has coped with previous losses enables the nurse to understand how the patient typically copes. One way the nurse can do this is to ask the patient to recall a time that they suffered a loss and were able to positively work through it. 

B. Encourage the patient to share memories of their loved one

Rationale: Encouraging patients to share memories and tell stories of the person they have lost can help them recall happy memories to assist them through the grieving process.

D. Practice active listening techniques

Rationale: Actively listening is a process through which the nurse is fully present in the conversation with the patient. The nurse listens to understand, rather than respond, and withholds judgment. This process builds trust and allows the patient to be heard, validated, and inspired to problem-solve, if applicable.

E. Support patients’ participation in spiritual practices 

Rationale: When indicated, supporting patients’ interests and participation in spiritual practices can promote functional grieving. If the patient attends church or participates in other spiritual practices, the nurse should encourage the continuation of these practices to help them cope and work through the grieving process. 


Major Takeaway

The nurse plays a vital role in supporting patients through the grieving process. Exploring how patients have coped with grief and loss in the past, encouraging them to talk about fond memories, supporting engagement in spiritual practices, and validating cultural norms can help the patient come to terms with their loss.

Incorrect answer explanations

C. Advise the patient to avoid support groups during the first year of grief

Rationale: The patient should be advised to attend support groups whenever they are interested and ready. Support groups can be beneficial in working through grief at any time in the process.

F. Avoid discussion of cultural norms 

Rationale: Validating the influence of cultural beliefs, norms, and values on grief and mourning practices can support the functional grieving process, therefore should not be avoided.

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