Published Jul 13, 2004
Is there any ICU's out there who sends letters of condolence to family of patients who died in the unit? I know of palliative-care units who does it but in a unit like ICU???
Our family-intervention commitee has come up with this idea that I think can be great if done properly but I was wandering if it's been done somewhere else. I would like to hear from you because I have a loooot of questions!!!
Like, do you send the same letter the everyone? Or do your personalise it with the name of the patent or significant commentary? Do you send it to every grieving family or those you've known for a while, say, a day or two? Who signs it? Any ethical questionning in the process?
I'll be glad to hear from your experiences and opinions.
I work in a CTICU and we don't have a formal process for doing it, but we do it on occasion for patients and families we have gotten to know pretty well. Usually we just get a card and the nurses/techs on our unit will sign if they want. I know the families have appreciated it in the past...they often write back with a note of thank you. We usually write something about how sorry we are for their loss, etc.
Celia M, ASN, RN
We send out sympathy cards to the families. They are posted for about a week so all the nurses get a chance to write in them if they wish. The feedback I have received is that the families appreciate it and it helps give closure to those staff members who were not present when the patient died
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