SIM Scenario Exchange

End of Life Care: Breaking Bad News

Contributed on July 8, 2015, last updated June 28, 2022.



Jeanne Falabi-Bakinde, RN, BScN, MSc., University of Ottawa
Monique Maisonneuve, RN, BScN, MEd, University of Ottawa
Diane Alain, RN, BscInf, M.Ed

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This is a two-part unfolding scenario. A 55 year old male client is imminently dying of lung cancer with a Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) of 10%. DNR assigned. Client chose to die at home. He is married and spouse is at the bedside. Client has 2 adult children and 3 grand-children who live out of town. One of which arrives at the home just after her/his father passes away. Nurses must provide comfort measures to the dying client and support the spouse during final breaths of life, in addition to breaking bad news to the child who arrives too late to say goodbye.

Learning Objectives:

Action verb



The student will use

relational and communication skills

to support decisions of palliative and end-of-life care on an ongoing basis.

The student will integrate

knowledge of grief and bereavement

to support others from a cross-cultural perspective through an adaptive grieving process.

The student will demonstrate

accurate assessment with the focus on pain.

to provide adequate comfort measures to the dying client.

The student will reflect on

personal attitudes

that may impact care of a dying patient and family members.

Simulation Modality:

Manikin-based, Standardized/simulated patients or real patients


Falabi-Bakinde J, Maisonneuve M, Alain D. End of Life Care: Breaking Bad News. Simulation resource published by Simulation Canada; 2015. Available from

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Target Learners






Undergraduate / post-secondary

Fields / Disciplines:

Palliative & end-of-life care

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