Is attending a patient's funeral overstepping "the" boundary?

  1. I have a young man that has frequented the ER, and this small hospital (pediatric), that I saw come into this world, and fight for the short time he had.

    There was a small incident with EMT/Paramedics, NO ONE knows what happened, but it had NOTHING to do with his death, and was 3 transits ago. I would hate to see the family in or around town after missing this funeral. I just wanted them to know how much the little guy impacted us. They are also "county" and have been asked by an alderman NOT to attend. Nothing was said of Hospital Personnel. The family wrote a wonderful card of thanks to the Hospital in the paper. This is a delimma as other nurses have asked what I will do, and what they should do. I stated, "right now I 'want' to, but I don't know yet."

    Is it frowned on to attend according to patient/Healthcare worker boundaries, or would another notion be more proper?

    What would you all do?
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    About BostonTerrierLoverRN

    Joined: Oct '11; Posts: 1,272; Likes: 3,913
    Travel Nursing/ER/Trauma; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in Adult/Ped Emergency and Trauma


  3. by   Bortaz, RN
    I went to the funeral of the first baby I lost in the NICU. I'd had her under my care for almost 4 months, every day, and was deeply, deeply attached to her. It was one of those "fine one minute, dead the next" things that happen in the NICU, and I was devastated.

    Going to the funeral helped me, as a new nurse losing his first baby, heal. I'll forever be glad I went, propriety be damned.
  4. by   loriangel14
    I have gone to a couple of funerals of patients I was very close to.I don't think there is any reason we shouldn't go.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    My paternal grandmother died nearly 17 years ago during a stay at a nursing home. One of her LTC nurses had become attached to my grandmother and came to the funeral service. I do not see how a healthcare worker can cross a boundary by attending a funeral. Rather, I see it as a show of support and a way to nourish the spirits of the surviving family members.
  6. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    Relief at your answers so far, soooooo sorry for your losses!
  7. by   stargazer88
    When my mother died (after being on hospice much longer than expected) we thought at least one of the hospice nurses would come to the funeral. We had grown quite attached to them. Not one of them came. No card, or even "I'm sorry" from them. The only time we saw them was when they came to the house and cleared out the things belonging to hospice. We were quite hurt actually.
    If you feel in your heart you should go, then by all means go!!
  8. by   traumaRUs
    I've not gone to funerals but have signed the online condolence books.
  9. by   merlee
    Not only have I attended numerous viewings and funerals, but nearly a year after I left a particular agency, a family got word to me about their grandmother, that she had passed. I managed to get there, and the fam members who knew me introduced all around as 'the only nurse who really cared about mom-mom.'

    And a former supervisor called me to say she had seen an obit about a pt I had been close to, and when I showed up at her service, the family was incredibly warm (I had not met most of them) and pleased I was there. She had not been my pt for at least 2 years, and had been in a facility for quite a while.

    Does it cross a boundary? I don't think so. Every time I have managed to get to one of these, the families all seemed genuinely touched, pleased and thankful.

    I have no regrets about any of them - - and some of them I attended in my scrubs during a break in my day! I was a home health nurse for many years.

    As for what stargazer said, sometimes it is just too much, because it is such a frequent occurence. And it could be that their agency doesn't support their staff thru these tough times.

    Personally, I would definitely attend.
  10. by   not.done.yet
    Several nurses and doctors came to my son's funeral. It means a lot to me to this day. If you want to go, go.
  11. by   beckyboo1
    I don't go to all pt's funerals by any means, but in 25 years, I've gone to some I felt closest to. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. It's respectful to the family.
  12. by   Mandychelle79
    When I worked in LTC, I went to some of the pt's funerals. I grieved for some of the pt's more then I grieved for my grandma. When my grandfather died his PCP and his Chiropractor both attended his funeral.
  13. by   Ruas61
    Do what your heart tells you, It is usually right.
  14. by   KelRN215
    For my primary patients, I always try to go to at least the wake. I usually go to the wake over the funeral because then I can actually see the family and express my condolences as opposed to sitting in the back of a church.