Death Communication: What we failed to teach 

Featured Speaker
Alexandra Jabr, M.S., EMT-P

Hosted by:  Robbie MacCue

Alexandra Jabr presents at the 4th Annual EMS Leadership Summit.

Alexandra Jabr holds a master’s degree in death, grief, and bereavement and is a Ph.D. candidate conducting research on psychedelic therapy for first responders with PTSD. She began her career in EMS in 2003 and has been teaching since 2008. Alexandra is the creator of Emergency Resilience, an educational platform dedicated to helping first responders build resilience by integrating marginal topics into routine training., and the online course “Death Communication for First Responders: How to Deliver Unfortunate News.”

In this session Alexandra discusses death notification - an important but oftentimes overlooked skill for paramedics. From research conducted, it has been found that delivering more than five notifications a year can lead to burnout. To reduce this, death notification training is available to paramedics and can help reduce burnout by up to 30%.

Death education is an important topic for all healthcare providers to better understand, especially paramedics. There are various strategies to help organizations reduce the effect of death notifications such as providing practice opportunities, introducing mindfulness and wellbeing practices, investing in employee education, and having clear communication protocols. 

Finally, strategies are offered to help families say goodbye and make it a less traumatic experience.

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With speakers from leaders across the prehospital space, the EMS Leadership Summit valuable, actionable content will move your leadership & organization to the cutting edge!

  • Death notification is a skill that needs to be taught to paramedics.
  • Death notification training can lead to a reduction in burnout.
  • End-of-life care and religious beliefs should be included in death notification training.
  1. Delivering Difficult News: A Paramedic’s Guide to Burnout Prevention (00:00 - 06:21)
  2. Delivering Death Notifications: Paramedics and the Dilemma of Inadequate Training (06:21 - 12:23)
  3. The Essential Skills: Communication Skills for EMS in the Age of Pandemic (12:23 - 17:40)
  4. The Implications of Burnout Caused by an Increase in Death Notifications (17:41 - 23:21)
  5. Exploring Balanced Approaches to Notifying Families in Emergency Situations (23:21 - 28:49)
  6. Death Notification Training: Understanding the Importance and Benefits for Families (28:50 - 34:49)
  7. Honoring Patient Wishes: A High Point in My Career (34:49 - 40:26)
  8. Fostering Effective Communication: The Foundation of EMS Leadership and Scene Safety (40:26 - 44:21)

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Robbie MacCue

Robbie is the cofounder of the EMS Leadership Academy, host of the EMS Leadership Summit, and paramedic captain in Albany, NY where he serves in the Special Operations Division for ground rescue, flight, & tactical medicine. He performs international medical flights with North America's largest fixed wing Air Ambulance service. For more than 14 years, Robbie served as President of a non-profit EMS organization advocating for increased funding and raising the bar of excellence. In addition, Robbie is an American Heart Association advocate who is passionate about empowering others to save more lives. He has taught physicians, nurses, and other medical providers Advanced Cardiac Life Support at medical schools and hospitals throughout Manhattan. Robbie has undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a MBA from Case Western Reserve University and provides business consulting that combines his love of technology with healthcare.

Robbie MacCue

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