Grief Scenarios

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The question for this reflective journal was to demonstrate how I would assist a patient that has gone through a traumatic event. Therefore, I have decided to create a scenario to practically show the steps I would take during each stage of grief.


Erin Reuben is a 26-year-old female that just finished her degree in teaching. She is a newlywed and on her honeymoon, she and her husband went horseback riding. She fell off the horse and the horse stepped on her right leg. The trauma was so severe that they could not save the leg and that she was amputated roughly 10cm above the knee.


It is important to remember that a person that went through a traumatic experience is not in the same state of mind as a regular
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Erin would refuse to talk about the incident and might try to act like she is fine. She’ll try everything to not face what happened and avoid the topic. Even though this can get very emotional you must try to get the patient to talk about what happened so that they can finally face reality.

When Erin starts asking questions like: “Why me?” and get extremely angry about the situation it becomes clear that they have now entered the next stage of grief.
Erin would keep thinking, why did something like that have to happen on her honeymoon. She would feel like she did not deserve something like this. Erin would experience irritability with her husband and they might experience some difficulty communicating.
The best thing that you can do at this stage is to help the patient deal with all the emotions that they are currently feeling. Let them express themselves even if it involves them getting angry or crying.
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Seeing and hearing that she is still able to achieve great things could motivate her to push forward and give her the drive to live her life.


This is the final stage of grief. This is when the patient starts to make peace with what happened to them and they start to move on. Common phrases used are: “There is nothing I can do about it so I might as well make the best of it.
Erin will start to grow accustomed to her life as an amputee. She will start getting into a routine and become more and more independent. She will still have various struggles in her day to day life but she would have worked through the traumatic event.
When a patient reaches this stage, it does not mean that their treatment is over. You must always be available to listen to any problems that the patient needs to discuss. Try to keep an eye on their emotion and psychological state.
A patient can easily slip back into depression and therefore we as practitioners need to constantly be vigilant to identify any problems or needs and try to help a patient through
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