Do you attend funerals?

  1. I was just wondering how many of you attend a patients viewing or funeral? I've gone to two of my patients and it really seamed to help with the closure. Although, I was very disappointed to see that my office did not send flowers to either of the funerals/viewings I have attended. What do some of your companies do? Do you send flowers? Card? I feel that we are there to support them through the illness/death and then right after we are gone. I know the Chaplains call and talk to the families and offer their berevement support for 13 months but I really think flowers or a card really would mean alot to the family members. What do you all think????

    Thanks,
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   steelcityrn
    I have gone to a few also. For me, I just know when it is appropriate by how long I have known the patient or the family. Just the other day someone called me to inform me of a homecare patients husband that I had(patient told her friend I was the nurse), had passed away and wanted to tell me the time and funeral home. I thanked her for the info but did not go. I did not know him and only knew her for a few visits. When you do know them well, it does help the family and you by going,imo.
  4. by   caliotter3
    I used to send condolence cards until a family sued my employer and me. Afterwards, I read that it is advised that nurses do not do so for various reasons. I have since decided it is not a safe practice. In this particular case, the family member made threats and carried through with me (assault and battery, stalking, threatening phone calls, neverending harassment). You never know what is in the minds of these people and how far they will take it. I'm proof of that.

    I think it is the responsibility of the agency to send their respects. They should also be prepared to protect their employees when necessary. My agency did not even have the decency to inform me immediately when the man threatened me.
  5. by   sharona97
    I went to one patients viewing and mass. Left the funeral for the immediate family. He was so neat to listen to his stories. He played the organ for the pope in rome at the time.
  6. by   UM Review RN
    I was very pleased to see the Hospice nurses at my stepdad's funeral a few weeks ago. They were wonderful to him, and we were all so appreciative of their expertise and concern.

    I think it gave them some closure and reassured my Mom that they truly cared about him.

    Thank you, Hospice nurses, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
  7. by   iamnotaware
    Quote from Rnmomajmj
    I was just wondering how many of you attend a patients viewing or funeral? I've gone to two of my patients and it really seamed to help with the closure. Although, I was very disappointed to see that my office did not send flowers to either of the funerals/viewings I have attended. What do some of your companies do? Do you send flowers? Card? I feel that we are there to support them through the illness/death and then right after we are gone. I know the Chaplains call and talk to the families and offer their berevement support for 13 months but I really think flowers or a card really would mean alot to the family members. What do you all think????

    Thanks,
    I think sending sympathy flowers and cards are quite a nice enough option. There are mass cards that has the church pray over the deceased for a year, and this would really mean a lot to the family.

    But sending flowers too at the time of the funeral would be a great gesture, seeing that this would let the family know how much lives their loved ones has touched.
  8. by   ZASHAGALKA
    No. It's a boundary issue for me. I know nurses that do. For me, it crosses professional boundaries.

    I cannot get that vested in the personal and maintain a professional distance.

    Not saying its wrong. Just saying that its wrong, for me.

    Same goes with cards, etc.

    ~~~~edited to add - sorry, didn't realize this was a hospice thread, I don't look up threads by forum but by last posted. I'm sure that makes a huge difference on the validity of my answer. Sorry about that. ~~~~~

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 28, '07
  9. by   aimeee
    I have only attended when the patient was also a family member of our staff, but many of our staff do attend either the wake/viewing or the service. Families are very touched and grateful. We also send a single rose on behalf of the organization.
  10. by   Hospice Nurse LPN
    I would always attend the wake or viewing. The family is always touched and I have closure. I left hospice work about 2 months ago and still attend some wakes of former pts.
  11. by   shrinky
    It depends on how close I came with the family. If my schedule allows, I like to go to funerals. The family really appreciates to see the face of the agency who gave their loved one a peaceful and comfortable death. It also is good marketing.
  12. by   rmw44
    Our agency always has a representative at the service. For the bereavement coordinator, it is the beginning of a relationship for the next year and that bond begins with knowing how the person was remembered.

    Robin Watts
  13. by   Sabby_NC
    If I can at least get to the viewing or the funeral I do try. Sometimes it is not possible though. Our organization sends a heart shaped pillow made of white satin with a posy of red roses on it.
    I always do a bereavement follow up and that is where I can spend time one on one with the spouse or family.
    I think for the family to see 'their' Hospice Nurse turn up means so much to them. They know we did the best for their loved one and really cared about them all.
  14. by   sharona97
    I think that is great to have the one on one with the family, I'm not a hospice nurse, but I would think it does help to bring closure for all.

    I had to pu a research drug on one of our patients who had died and I stayed to talk to the family. Basically I just listened. It was a very moving experience.

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