Resources for Healthcare Workers Experiencing Grief 

When you browse the abundance of positions available on healthcare job boards like Health Jobs Nationwide, you might be surprised that as well as the known highly skilled positions such as doctors, nurses, and dentists, there are also many jobs that are perfectly attainable for those without the expensive education required for the most demanding roles. However, this should not fool anyone into thinking that any of these positions should be taken lightly. A functioning healthcare system is much more than the sum of its parts and it relies on a vast network of committed professionals in order to effectively serve the public and save lives.

Nevertheless, humans are not machines and healthcare professionals are subject to emotional problems as much as anyone else. One of those problems is grief and bereavement, something that can happen to a healthcare professional just as suddenly and traumatically as any of the patients and family members that they deal with every day. Given the important nature of their work though, it is often particularly difficult for healthcare workers to deal with such situations. Thankfully, this is something that has been known for a long time and in the system a unique support infrastructure has been built up to support those suffering grief within the healthcare sector. 

Healthcare Work and Grief

The reason for this unique support system isn’t so much that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and phlebotomists taking time off to deal with grief is not accepted, but rather that most healthcare workers are aware of their weighty responsibility and the potential issues that could result from a vital healthcare worker either taking time off or not doing so and being adversely affected while they work. Many in healthcare simply don’t want to abandon their patients to deal with their own problems. 

Accordingly, the support offered to healthcare workers suffering grief is well-developed and designed to help workers through their problems as beneficially as possible. These support systems have also been developed with the healthcare professional’s close acquaintance with the grief of others (usually family members or seriously ill patients) in mind. It isn’t easy to be surrounded by grief when you are experiencing it yourself. 

Top Resources 

So, what does that support system look like? To illustrate it best, here follows some of the top resources for healthcare workers experiencing grief:

Online Grief Counseling 

Advances in communication technology have been massively helpful where counseling for professionals in high stress environments are concerned. Being able to receive counseling remotely has offered a flexibility to the counseling process that is much appreciated by those working in healthcare. Quite simply, it does not take as much time or travel to receive counseling, allowing healthcare workers to fit it in with their busy schedules. 

Bereavement Leave 

Like any other professional, bereavement leave is an option – and sometimes it is needed. Within healthcare however it is more thoroughly coordinated in order to minimize the impact on patients. This means that those taking bereavement leave can feel less guilty about “abandoning” their vital duties. 


This program is for first responders at accident and injury scenes. Seeing death up so close and so often can sap the resolve of some paramedics and EMTS. Accordingly, EMTLife is designed with this specifically in mind, optimizing the therapy to help these professionals deal with this problem on top of their grief. 

Ultimately, it is well-known how stressful working in healthcare can be, and that makes experiencing grief all the harder for healthcare professionals. This is recognized though, and everyone should be reminded that the support is very definitely there.

Peter Simpson

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