Communication Vignettes: ‘What if I meet “Old Nick”, Nurse?’

Helen Scott

  • Abstract

    Regardless of whether or not older people have a life-limiting illness, they are aware that they are in the final stages of their lives. The very end phase of life can be a significant cause of distress (Lloyd-Williams et al, 2007; Gott et al, 2008). Death remains a mystery and, as it approaches, people may start to feel fearful of the unknown (Saunders, 1987). However, forthcoming death may also engender feelings of peace and acceptance (Lloyd-Williams et al, 2007), with some older people viewing death as an oppor tunity to be reunited with deceased loved ones (Gott et al, 2008). Whatever the individual outlook, approaching death often causes people to
    reflect on the meaning of their lives (Frankl, 1987; Saunders, 1987; Grant et al, 2004; Murray et al, 2004).

  • Contributors

    Helen Scott


    Correct at article publish date

    Helen Scott is Editor, End of Life Journal, and a palliative care nurse. Email:

    Original publishing information

    • Publisher: St Christopher's Hospice
    • Publish date: 01/01/2013
    • Volume: 3
    • Issue: 3

    Permissions: © 2015, Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

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