Should Nurses attend patient funerals - page 3

I'm hoping that someone can point me in the right direction. I'm doing a essay for uni looking at if there is any benefit for nurses or patient families if the nurses attend the funerals of their... Read More

  1. by   nimbex
    My CCU staff does attend funerals... Naturally this is because a bond between the nurses, patient and family occurs. There are many patients and families whom I will never forget.

    They do not attend every funeral, just those in which the family and patient have become close to them.

    We even sign cards for those who can't attend due to work schedules and encourage the family to call anytime they wish.

    Personally I have never attended one. Personal preference I don't believe in the process of body preparation to lay out a deceased body so those left behind can grieve and acheive closure. (Please no responses to this I share this openly to explain why I personally refrain, no to speak for any one but self in trusting openess to group). I have closure by saying goodbye to patient at time of death and am comfortable with this. Many benefit from funerals and I believe this VERY necessary and benificial to them.

    Again, only speaking for self, but my nurses do attend some funerals,,,, to me, it doesn't matter if you leave work and are in scrubbs or purposly put them on... you are going in support of the family no matter what you wear. Your support is what they remember.

    Good thread... let us know what you conclude
  2. by   karenG
    I too attend patients funerals- if I am invited. I work in a general practice and have been there for 13yrs!! I know all my patients, their families and have shared much with them- just seems right to go and pay my last respects. I dont wear uniform- just sit and cry at the back!

    Karen
  3. by   ceecel.dee
    Yes! Attend if you felt connected to the patient and/or the family during their care. You can be sure your attendance will be noticed and appreciated!

    And it's great closure for you!
  4. by   GailWHNP
    When I worked in high-risk obstetrics, I would attend the funeral of the babies that did not make it. I felt the parents needed to know that I was still there for them.
    Gail
  5. by   ChemoRN
    I have attended a few patient funerals - the one's who were really special to me. I admit I did it for myself, to get closure, etc. But I think it benefitted the families also. At one particular funeral, I was invited to sit with the family and was expected to follow first behind the family car. It just shows how much we can become a part of our patient's lives.

    I have heard some criticism of nurses who attend funerals. Some people believe that it shows a level of unprofessionalism. It's not in the job description to form a relationship. Personally, after taking care of cancer patients for months, I don't know how you don't form a relationship.

    I think that everyone has the right to decide what is best for them. Occasionally, I need my families to know how special their loved one was to me. That's my decision.

    One of my doc's was asked by his patient to give her eulogy. I don't know if he did it or not, but I think that speaks volumes about what a caring person he is.
  6. by   GPatty
    I have attended a couple of funerals for patients. I work in LTC and get close to some of these folks.
    The most recent being a gentleman that my hubby and I both knew BEFORE he went into the nursing home.
    Now that's hard....
  7. by   Netty
    I once attended the funeral of one of my favorite patients at the Nursing home where I was once employed. I was one of the few Hispanic staff (not an LPN Yet) able to converse with and advocate for him. One day we were short staffed due to a snow storm and the residents were sitting in the dayroom. One of the other residents lit a cigarette and my favorite patient objected, a fight ensued and my favorite resident fell and broke his neck!! Needless to say, his family was suing the nursing home and that Monday when I returned to work I discovered that i had been transferred. I guess it was their way of keeping me from talking.
    His family was very glad that I attended and so was I. It was the only way I could get to say "GOOD-BYE
  8. by   renerian
    Netty that is a horribly sad story................wow. How hard was that??? What was the end result of the lawsuit?

    renerian
  9. by   EXOTIC NURSE
    I never attend funerals at all I do not like funerals and I dont even attend funerals of relatives unless I really have too...just my personal choice .....I am not an empathetic person I just feel that if I care for them until the last breath then I have done what I should and I do not think I can handle the funeral scene......
  10. by   ShelleyERgirl


    The only funeral I have ever attended was for a former patient of mine that died of lung ca with brain mets. She was 39 y/o with a nine y/o son. She was very special to me and I often wonder about her family and how they are. I remember her coming in to the oncology office where I worked and always requesting me to draw her blood. She was a wonderful person. I have since lost many special patients to that horrible disease, but I will always remember her fondly and with love. I bet we all have our one special patient that is in our hearts.

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