Helping dying patients offers life lessons

Canadian hospice care workers say their daily experience caring for dying patients has changed their personal lives — but in a positive way, according to a new study that looks at how people are shaped by exposure to death.

After shadowing doctors, nurses, assistants, spiritual care workers and psychologists in palliative care centres in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, researchers found health professionals reported a better understanding of the meaning of life, an increased awareness of spirituality and an acknowledgment of their own mortality.

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