I am the coordinator for the bereavement program at the hospital I work in. I am starting from ground zero with our program and am looking for anyone who has experience with this. I especially need good ideas on cost effective ways to provide memorabilia, esp memory boxes. Also, I would like to know some special things nurses do for a demise patient that I may be able to pass on to my staff. My email is Brelandboyz2000@aol.com if you want to post an email to me. thanks
Jan 7, '01
Here's some hints:
"starting from ground zero"
Rather than doing this, see if management will send you for RTS Bereavement Services Coordinator Training! It is a two day course that will not only train you on how to best help our Perinatal Loss patients, but will also prepare you to teach your staff as well. Our RTS program has been in effect for over 10 years--and makes such a difference for our staff and our families.
"cost effective ways to provide memorabilia, esp memory boxes."
when your program is established, contact "ToleNet" on the internet. It is an international group of painters that paint memory boxes for bereaved families & donate them for free. Some of the painters include 'love notes' in their boxes, in support of the families!
We have baby clothes made by local "church ladies" from term newborn sizes, down to tiny gown & bonnets to fit 20 week losses! A "bead shop" donates tiny bracelets like the old fashion ones that say "baby" on them. Another group makes baby blankets & afgans for us. Just introduce yourself to the head of some local churchs' women's organizations! Many are eager to offer help with service projects.
We have a parent support group that meets monthly. If any of our parents say to us "How can we ever thank you for all your support during our loss?" Our response is to have them donate blankets, clothes, or money to the RTS funds.
Contact your local stores, too. Our "Michaels" craft store sold us tiny stuffed bunnies after Easter that we give to the parents, after photographing the baby+bunny together.
hope this helped!
Jan 9, '01
I am new to doing fetal losses on our unit but I can offer some information that might be helpful.
There are some amazing books out there for families coping with loss. One very important booklet for parents is called EMPTY ARMS. We give this to all our parents with fetal demise.
As for memory kits. Our hospital takes photographs of the baby, even if the parents do not want to see the baby at the time of there hospitalization. The photos are kept and are available for the parents at any time. We also use plaster of paris and do footprints and handprints in it. This creates a very special momento. Our unit also has donated various sized gift baskets in which we line with baby blankets and then place the baby inside when parents are ready to view the infant. This allows for very early losses to use the smaller baskets. The nurses who care for the parents during the delivery and after care send out a handwritten card to the family following discharge offering words of comfort as well as the reminder of baby photos available when and if they are ready to see them.
It is such a difficult and deeply saddening experience to be involved with the delivey of fetal demises, yet very rewarding when you are able to grieve with the parents and offer some small amount of support.
Jan 9, '01
I really appreciate your your responses. I will use your ideas and any other ideas that others send. Thank you so very much.
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