Loss and Grief

1h 30m
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The Ausmed Education Learning Centre is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Provider Number PO342.

CPD1h 30m of CPD
First Published
Updated14 July 2019
Expires 14 July 2022
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia

Course Overview

This Course reviews the theoretical and conceptual foundations of the experience of loss and grief. It provides a guide for the practical assistance for people who have experienced loss, and those who support them.

  • What is grief?
  • Facts and myths;
  • Physical and psychological manifestations of grief;
  • Two contemporary models of grief;
  • When grief becomes complicated
  • Professional boundaries for health professionals supporting those who are grieving;
  • Strategies for supporting those in your care – and their families – as they grieve;
  • Supporting grief brought about by losses that do not involve a death;
  • Strategies for looking after yourself.

Health professionals – in both their personal and professional roles – are constantly confronted with loss and grief. In many cases, it can be an especially intense experience, as the grief of those in care – and their families – is also grief experienced by the person caring for them.

As health professionals; we are in a unique position to reduce the impact of this grief on all concerned. However, such support is not without cost, and throughout this experience, health professionals need to understand not just the needs of those experiencing loss, but how they relate to – and cope with – that loss themselves.


The purpose of this Course is to provide registered nurses and other health professionals with an outline of the fundamental principles required to support those that are experiencing grief, regardless of the loss.

Learning Outcomes
  • Knowledge of theories underpinning grief and loss will enable you to better understand and support the people in your care experiencing grief after a loss.
  • Awareness of the key signs of unhealthy professional grief will help you identify and prevent stress and burnout associated with your role.
  • You will be reminded of the simple strategies that can be initiated in the workplace and in your personal life to manage professional grief.
Target Audience

Registered nurses and other health professionals in all areas of professional practice given that the nature of healthcare regularly exposes clinicians to loss and grief.


No conflict of interest exists for anyone in the position to control content for this activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medications or products have been used.


Portrait of Darren Wake
Darren Wake

Peripatetic and always intellectually restless, Darren Wake has pursued varied careers in journalism, media production, academic philosophy and nursing. As a nurse, he worked in the speciality areas of critical care, community care, remote area healthcare and education. As a formally qualified academic philosopher Darren taught undergraduate units in law and ethics in healthcare, although his principle research focus revolved around logic and the philosophy of language. Darren’s media production output can be found scattered about the Ausmed website and in his long forgotten days as a word monkey, he wrote for European publications such as The Scotsman, The Great Outdoors, Country Walking and The Times. In 2014 Darren consulted to the Department of Health for the development of Consumer Directed Care policy and guidelines for remote area communities in the Northern Territory. These days he is the managing editor of a small independent publishing company based in the United Kingdom, and lives in Tasmania. In his spare time, Darren is currently studying a formal course in celestial navigation, just in case the inevitable zombie apocalypse messes with the world’s GPS satellite system. See Educator Profile