Would this be inappropriate? - page 2

A month or so ago, maybe a little more, I took care of a child who was the victim of an accidental strangulation. Despite massive resuscitative efforts, the best estimates were that he had been... Read More

  1. by   KaroSnowQueen
    I think it would be wonderful. No matter if it has been two months or ten years, this family will be remembering their child at Christmas, and the idea that somebody else recognizes their loss and has some idea of how they are feeling will be very comforting to them, I think.
  2. by   SuesquatchRN
    I'd send a card. It means a lot to know people are thinking of you.
  3. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I normally never have any contact w/ pts or families after they are no longer in my care. I, too, consider that inappropriate. However, there are always exceptions. I think I'd send the card.
  4. by   canoehead
    Quote from caliotter3
    I would normally say go ahead and send it. I used to send condolence cards. One of those families sued my employer and me. I later read that it is not advised to do so. You at least have a 50-50 chance that nothing negative will ensue. But otherwise, you just don't know. There are bad things that can be done reference a condolence card, so you take your chances. As for myself, since I'm an example of what that warning was about, I no longer send cards.
    Can you tell us more? How could a compassionate gesture on your part cause them to sue?
  5. by   renjenem
    As a hospice nurse it is my practice to send cards to special families during the holidays. I also send a card during the month of the 1 year anniversary of their loved ones passing. I use blank cards so I can write the sentiment myself. When I have a pediatric patient I also send them a card on the kids birthday along with a special candle and tell them to light the candle while they are having dinner. The parents I have spoken to afterwards have expressed appreciation for remembering them and helping them make that day special. One even told me it gave them permission to have a small celebration. It's really hard for people to know what to say to parents. So write one from your heart and send it. Also, see if there is a holiday bereavement program - you may need to contact the chaplain services or hospice bereavement coordinator - and let the parents know about it.
  6. by   ASSEDO
    your question: is the card to help you heal or the family heal?
    another option, donate a tree in the child's honor in a national forrest through audubon society.

    they will send you a card already for the occasion.
  7. by   elkpark
    I'm a psych nurse (for 20-some years) and, apparently, we are a lot more sensitive to boundary issues than nurses in other areas of healthcare. When I read the OP, I immediately thought of two principles: 1) "safety in numbers," and 2) the item on every "boundary risks" list ever written about "Is this something you would do in front of your supervisor?" (if not, you probably shouldn't do it.) Have you thought of discussing this with your NM and inviting the other nurses/staff on the unit to sign a card with you? That way, it would be a group card from the unit, not from you personally. Perhaps this could become a regular tradition/routine on your unit.

    Although your instincts and heart are clearly in the right place, I guarantee you that you are asking for trouble (and will eventually get it) by communicating privately/individually with client families outside the workplace. However, if you keep it all out in the open and your colleagues and supervisor are aware of what you're doing (and it seems okay to them, duh ), you should be fine.
  8. by   megananne7
    I also agree you should send it. I think it would be very much appreciated by the parents.

    When I read what elkpark wrote, I do agree... I think you should discuss this with the unit and see who else wants to contribute. You might even get a few suggestions for other families to send a card to.