The Preparation of Graduate Health Professionals for Working With Bereaved Clients: An Australian Perspective.

The preparation of graduate health professionals for working with bereaved clients: an Australian perspective.

Omega (Westport).; 66(4): 313-32
Breen LJ, Fernandez M, O’Connor M, Pember AJ

Students enrolled in health profession courses require grief education so that, upon graduation, they are able to meet the needs of clients living with loss and grief. We investigated grief and loss education in six Australian university programs–medicine, nursing, counseling, psychology, social work, and occupational therapy–drawing from course documents and face-to-face interviews with key staff and final-year students. Only the counseling course included a dedicated grief and loss unit. The nursing, medicine, and occupational therapy courses emphasized end-of-life issues rather than a breadth of bereavement experiences. The social work course taught grief as a socially-constructed practice and the psychology course focused on grief and loss in addiction. Several factors influenced the delivery of grief education, including staffing, time, placement opportunities, student feedback, and needs of each profession. The study provides an indication as to how future health professionals are prepared for grief and loss issues in their practice. HubMed – addiction



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