Rarely heard about in our society are caregivers' thoughts and feelings about life, death, and dying and how they act on those feelings. "For the Living: Coping, Caring and Communicating with the Terminally Ill" provides an in-depth, qualitative look at the experiences of oncology healthcare professionals as they work with terminally ill patients. Through a series of recorded and edited interviews, the author explores the social and cultural dynamics that affect physicians, nurses, and social workers routinely encountering mortality and loss. What death and the prospect of dying mean to these individuals should not be taken lightly.
SECTION ONE: Oncology Healthcare Professionals
CHAPTER 1 Social Workers
Two oncology social worker’s present their experiences with people who have cancer.
CHAPTER 2 Nurses
Three oncology nurses chronicle their thoughts, feelings and lives.
CHAPTER 3 Doctors
Oncology physicians provide rare insight into their motivation and emotions as they treat cancer patients.
SECTION TWO: A Symbolic Interactionist Look at Death and Dying
Overview of Symbolic Interactionism
This section offers an in-depth theoretic interpretation of the oncology healthcare professional’s experiences and actions, within the sociological theory of symbolic interactionism.
CHAPTER 4 Acts of the Self
The interplay between perception, judgment, and identity formation are discussed within the context of oncology healthcare professionals and their dealings with distinct death-related experiences.
CHAPTER 5 Acts of Coping
The focus of this chapter centers on the critical interrelated acts of coping and identity formation, while illustrating the possible meanings and motives behind specific acts of coping by several healthcare professionals.
CHAPTER 6 Acts of Communication
The relationship that exists between the oncology healthcare professional and patient and the usage of disclosure, metaphor and euphemism are discussed.