Despite many adverse circumstances in the dying situation, a nurse must make every effort to maintain her professional composure, for both her own work and the assistance she gives other staff members depend on it. 1 The combined requirements of dying patients, their families, and the staff for appropriate levels of involvement in and attitudes toward patients, and also their kinds of collective moods and degrees of composure, create and define an overall “sentimental” order in the ward— arid each nurse’s composure is vital to maintaining that order. Nevertheless, nurses can become very upset, and a nurse’s great fear in the dying situation is that she might lose control over herself.