Warne, K. E., & Hoppes, S. (2009). Lessons in living and dying from my first patient: An autoethnography. Canadian Journal Of Occupational Therapy. Revue Canadienne D’ergothérapie, 76(4), 309-316.
BACKGROUND: This study examines the challenges and rewards of a fieldwork student’s first encounter with death in a clinical setting and describes occupational interventions that affirm the life of a client preparing for death. PURPOSE: To explore meanings, challenges, and lessons of end-of-life care for an occupational therapy fieldwork student. METHODS: A qualitative format, autoethnography, was used to develop a narrative that reveals the lived experience of a fieldwork student. FINDINGS. Findings include a description of what a fieldwork student was and was not able to accomplish in end-of-life care. The paper describes using self-care activities to normalize and cede control of end-of-life care to the client and developing a vision of how to help clients find closure. IMPLICATIONS: The study carries implications for students and therapists working in end-of-life care. Therapists and educators can draw from this study to better understand and support new therapists when patients die.
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