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Home Care and Hospice Nurses' Attitudes Toward Death and Caring for the Dying: Effects of Palliative Care Education

Wessel, Elizabeth M. MS, RN; Rutledge, Dana N. PhD, RN

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: July-August 2005 - Volume 7 - Issue 4 - p 212–218

Evaluation of a palliative care education intervention and reflective narratives of experience from 33 southern California home care and hospice nurses indicated that some attitudes toward death improved and, although attitudes toward care for dying patients did not change significantly, an overall slightly positive trend was noted.

Elizabeth M. Wessel, MS, RN, is from the St. Joseph Health System Home Health Network, Orange, CA.

Dana N. Rutledge, PhD, RN, is an Associate Professor at California State University, Fullerton.

Address correspondence to Elizabeth M. Wessel, MS, RN, 466 N Crescent Dr, Orange, CA 92868 (e-mail:

This article was presented at the Joint Southern California Chapters Sigma Theta Tau Odyssey October 2004 Conference. Quantitative findings presented in this article are only part of this study; qualitative narrative findings are available in the August 2005 issue of the journal Home Healthcare Nurse. The author is recipient of CSUF Giles T Brown Outstanding Thesis Award 2005.

© 2005 The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association