“The Ultimate in Care” An exploration of the way clinical educators harness experiences of death and dying

Bernadette Glab


This study looked at the lived experiences of clinical nurse educators who work with undergraduate nursing students in a hospital setting. It employed a phenomenological approach to focus on nurses’ personal experiences of death and dying. In particular this paper examined how nurses perceive the way the experiences influences the way that they instruct their students Informal interviews with four nurses were audio taped and transcribed. Rich descriptions of emotions which emerged are discussed in detail. Data were analysed using the Colaizzi method of analysis and common themes were identified. They included remaining professional, Humanizing stories and teaching different levels of undergraduates. These themes were evaluated in terms of their value of meaning for students and the possible implication for clinical care. The literature examined relevant to the study has previously identified the importance of nurses knowing the meaning of end of life care; caring and empathy; student nurses’ perception and the need for student belongingness. The study has added to the field by identifying the importance of nurses sharing personal experiences to enhance student learning in this already difficult area of nursing.


End of life care; professionalism; humanism; caring; empathy; teaching; undergraduates

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