Hi all, I am the bereavement nurse specializing in fetal demise/neonatal death. Our hospital policy has changed to be more accommodating to our families that have fetal/neonatal loss. To facilitate the grieving process we allow the mother/family to keep the infant with them as long as they desire for bonding and to say goodbye. Most of the time a few hours is enough and the family is able to relenquish the baby to the morgue. We have on occasion had a mother want to keep her baby with her in the room until her discharge - this can be up to 4 days later. The issue is the staff nurses caring for these patients on the units. Many staff have given me feedback that they can care for and deal with the family - but NOT the deceased infant in the room for so long. These nurses do NOT have to do ANYTHING with the infant with the exception of placing it in a shrowd and calling for a runner to take it to the morgue if the parents request it. Do any of you have suggestions for teaching/training the nursing staff in the care of these special families. Since death is a part of life-should all the staff be "made" to take turns caring for these families or should it be on a voluntary basis unless no-one volunteers? Any feedback will be appreciated.
Sep 18, '06
I've never been in a situation were a parent wanted to keep a baby for days in their room. Often, after holding the baby for a few hours, a mother will want to see the baby before she is d/c'd and we have to bring it up from the morgue.If a parent will not relinquish a decesed infant for that long you need to get social work in there.Also, that becomes an issue for the morgue and the funeral director as the decompostion of the body is a problem for them in different aspects. I know we need to get a pt in the morgue in at least 4 hours.
Otherwise, your staff needs an inservice on care for deceased neonates and their families.There is a thread in this forum about different companies that d0 bereavement training.Perhapes you can arrange a group session or have a few representitives attend and present to the staff later.
Last edit by dawngloves on Sep 18, '06