Hi all

What sort of debriefing for staff do your units offer, and what do you find effective? We tend to have runs of deaths, or particularly distressing cases, then quiet periods, which makes formal debriefing difficult to organise. Some staff let management know that they feel unsupported during difficult times, but when debriefing sessions are set up, they are generally poorly attended, partly because people don't want to come in on their days off, which is fair enough. Any wonderful ideas out there?

Gompers, BSN, RN

2,691 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

I work in a NICU where we, unfortunately, don't have debriefing sessions.

I've always thought that having impromptu sessions immediately following that shift might be a good idea. Many of us leave a shift like that feeling so upset, that it would be nice to stay for maybe even half an hour after work to talk it out with people. I know some people have kids and other reasons that they have to leave right away, but many have some leeway and could stay after work.

There have been so many times I've given report, finally gotten to leave the unit, and then when I get to my car, I break down. And I'm by myself at that point. I can't talk to family and friends about it - between HIPAA and them not really "getting" what I've gone through, it's pointless. The only people that would understand would be my coworkers.


74 Posts

Specializes in PICU/Peds. Has 5 years experience.

at the hospital im currently traveling at. each shift meets in the back breakroom at the beginning of the shift for "homeroom" and we are updated by the previous shift's charge nurse about that shifts events, deaths, admissions coming, status of the ER, if its busy or not, who the sickest patients are, what patients to keep an ear out for anything unusual going on and what to look out for. usually takes a couple mins and i find it helpful in setting the tone for the shift

This topic is now closed to further replies.