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Shirley Byron, Robert Hoskins
British Journal of Community Nursing, Vol. 18, Iss. 10, 04 Oct 2013, pp 505 - 511

This article discusses research carried out with district nurses on their experiences of implementing the verification of expected death (VOED) policy in clinical practice in Scotland. Individual interviews were carried out with a purposeful sample of community nurses to seek their views on the VOED policy. Interviewees reported that implementing VOED documentation was not difficult if the community nurse knew the patient and family well. This made end-of-life discussions easier because of the therapeutic relationship that was already established. Although nurses were sometimes anxious about discussing death, their professional responsibility to the patient and relatives at this time took precedence over any personal feelings. The nurses highlighted that good communication skills were critical when initiating discussions around VOED.

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