Death notification education: A needs assessment study

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Abstract

A survey of 245 death notifiers (i.e., law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians, victim advocates, coroners, clergy, health care professionals, and others who had performed death notification in the past) was conducted to examine their death notification experience and their needs for education. The survey also assessed the benefits the notifiers received by attending a death notification seminar developed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Forty one percent of the notifiers had received neither classroom training nor experiential training in death notification before the seminar. Respondents' reported needs for education included (a) specific detail on how to deliver a notification, (b) how to manage survivor reactions, and (c) how to manage their own emotional reactions. The respondents indicated that the seminars substantially enhanced their death notification skills.

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