Family conferences

  1. Our NICU is exploring the possibility of regular parent conferences with each of the families in our unit. We would include the Neo, ARNP, Social worker, Family Rep, Discharge nurse, Primary nurse and others as indicated or requested by the family. We are still in the process of hammering out the details & would appreciate your input.

    If you are already holding these conferences please share:

    When do you hold the 1st conference?
    How often do you meet?
    Who attends?
    Are the conferences well received by the families?
    Do you find that they improve communication?
    Do you find that they improve parent satisfaction?
    Do they provide a smoother discharge?
    Who facilitates the meetings?
    Who documents them?

    If you are not holding these conferences, opinions & suggestions are still very welcome.

    Thanks for your help!
    Nicunana
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    my opinions only, from a parent's perspective:

    when do you hold the 1st conference? i would think after the first 24 hours, when baby has been assessed and the needs identified.

    how often do you meet? definitely whenever there are changes or concerns.......for routine meetings maybe every other week?

    who attends? parents and key members of the care team

    are the conferences well received by the families? i would welcome them!

    do you find that they improve communication? how could it possibly hinder?

    do you find that they improve parent satisfaction? if they didn't, that parent wouldn't be pleased about/by anything

    do they provide a smoother discharge? i think it would

    who facilitates the meetings? it should be the physician in charge of the case

    who documents them? someone who would not actually participate in the meeting......a ward clerk?
  4. by   Jolie
    I would make one change to Tazzi's suggestions. In the NICUs where I've worked, babies have been assigned to either the resident physician group or the NNP group on admission. Those assigned to the residents get a new physician every 4-6 weeks as the residents rotate in and out of the NICU. The attendings change on a monthly or bi-monthly basis as well. For that reason, I believe it is best for the primary nurse to facilitate the family meetings. Not meant to bash the medical care providers, they just change too frequently to be considered the foremost "expert" on any given baby.

    I think that it would also be necessary to make a provision for tele-conferencing. Many babies are transported in to the NICU from outlying hospitals and parents may not be readily available during daytime hours to participate in a care conference, especially whose whose children have lengthy stays and who may return to work while the baby is still in the hospital.
    Last edit by Jolie on Oct 17, '07 : Reason: addition

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