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Keywords:

  • deceased patients;
  • discharge summary;
  • nursing

To explore how nurses feel about deceased patients and end-of-life care, the nursing discharge summaries of 115 sequential patients who died in the respiratory division of a Japanese university hospital were reviewed. When compared to discharge summaries of patients with non-malignant illness, a significantly higher percentage of discharge summaries of those with malignant illnesses documented support from family members (P = 0.0166), patient's hope for cure (P = 0.0206), and patient anxiety (P = 0.0258). As difficult situations stay with nurses as memories, it is important for both new graduates and skilled nurses to document their feelings in difficult clinical situations.