Do you attend patient funerals?

  1. I hear mixed reviews on this. Discuss.
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    About ~PedsRN~, BSN

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 832; Likes: 2,569

    24 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    I have just a couple of times in the past 37 years. All were infants.

    One was a patient whose mother and I had worked together at a different facility prior to the baby's birth.
    One was a long term patient whose parents were on the housekeeping staff at the hospital, and were well-known to all of us before the child was even born.
    The last was a home care patient who passed VERY suddenly and completely unexpectedly. Mom had just had dad walk out on her prior to the death, and I just felt compelled to support her.
  4. by   toomuchbaloney
    yes, sometimes.
    it depends upon the situation.
    I am more likely to attend the visitation not the funeral.

    For hospice professionals, in particular, it is often part of the POC as well as part of self care when dealing with repetitive and cummulative loss.
  5. by   KelRN215
    Typically not funerals but I will go to the wakes if I am around. I don't like listening to pastors talking about how God needed these angels (children) in Heaven so that's why he gave them cancer or some other nonsense, which is why I usually choose to opt out of the funerals.
  6. by   nursel56
    Yes, I've attended funerals since becoming a private-duty nurse. I wouldn't hesitate to attend the funeral of a child who I'd known and who's family I'd known for a long time through all the ordeals they go through. It means a lot to the families, who see medical and nursing staff as the only stable things in a sea of devastation after losing their child.

    I learned that "on the other side of the bed" a very long time ago when my little brother was in treatment for ALL (he is a survivor!)
  7. by   Ruas61
    I will go to a viewing but not sit through a service. It is rare and has to be someone I have connected on a deep level.
  8. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    I've only wanted to go to one client's funeral. She died while I was on maternity leave, and I found out about her death about a month later.
  9. by   TheCommuter
    In almost a decade of nursing, I have never attended any patient's funeral. I typically do not form profound, deep connections with patients or their families that would prompt me to go to their funerals.

    I have only wanted to go to one patient's funeral, but by the time I had found out she died, the funeral service had already taken place.

    I should mention that my paternal grandmother was a nursing home resident who died in 1995 when I was 14 years old. One of her nurses showed up to the funeral service to pay final respects and I'll never forget that.
  10. by   Esme12
    I have attended two funerals and a couple of wakes in 35 years.

    It has to be something special for me.
  11. by   nursehaley91
    Since I work LTC, I tend to form attachments to my patients. But despite that, I've only attended a handful of funerals and viewings. Those are usually the ones that I've had very close bonds with. Although I end up feeling guilty for attending some and not others.
  12. by   TraumaORnurse
    I have attended the funerals of 2 former patients. One was when I was a CNA, the patient had been a "frequent flyer" towards the end of his life and I took care of him often. His sister was also one of our nurses which added to the devastation of his passing for the entire floor. The other was a young guy with a wife and young kids with a new spinal cord injury. A new SCI patient can spend 6+ weeks in rehab so developing attachments is easy to do. Then add in all the complications from from his injury that resulted in functional decline and more rehab stays. He spent as much of his final years with us as he did with his family, so when he passed away he all took it hard and a couple of us traveled out of town to his funeral.
  13. by   Biffbradford
    Guess I'll be the bad guy again. No. No matter how much I worked with them during their illness, it is still a JOB. Unless I knew them outside of healthcare before hand, no.
  14. by   nursel56
    Quote from Biffbradford
    Guess I'll be the bad guy again. No. No matter how much I worked with them during their illness, it is still a JOB. Unless I knew them outside of healthcare before hand, no.
    I respect that just as much as I would those who differ in their approach. We need to support the right of nurses to be true to themselves in special circumstances like these!

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