Published Dec 23, 2004
I currently work on a pediatric bone marrow transplant unit. We have a committee working on grief issues 9for nursing). One thing we are trying to find, are ways to remember children in our care who later pass on. For example: one unit has a grapevine wreath that they put a ribbon on each time a patient dies.Another unit has their patients name eached in glass and call it a "window to Heaven." Is there anything that your unit does, or you as neursing do, to remember those that pass through your unit.
Personally, I don't know if I would like a reminder as such of all the kids we have lost over the years (such as a wreath with ribbons). It seeems it would be depressing to look at. I do like the idea a little better of having something with their name and being able to remember them as a person versus a number...
I am not a peds nurse. I did come across a series of excellent yet heart-wrenching articles published in the Baltimore Sun this past week. I am not one to cry easily, but I was moved to tears. It truly is a gift.
There are ideas about honouring children's memory and helping families grieve contained in the articles. I wish I could do something to help this mom. The link I tried to post is bad. Go to baltimoresun.com and search for "Dr. Meghan" This will bring up the 4 articles in the series as choices.
how about a collage of pictures in a large frame? or in an album? i work in dd and we have lost several of our special kids, it helps us to remember the good times when we look at their pictures. you would need parental permission, of course, to use the pics.
Just this year, we separated from the rest of peds. So now we have a floor for peds surgery/cardiology/oncology. Peds oncology takes the back half of the floor. I made two quilts to decorate the walls. One of them has the name of every child that was diagnosed or relapsed with cancer over a year and a half time period. This way we remember the ones who made it as well as the ones who moved on to a better world. Due to the reponse of the patients and families, I may have to make this a yearly thing.
zambezi, BSN, RN
I don't work in peds, but I like the idea of a handprint on the wall and then have the child write their name inside their handprint. This of course would decorate the wall in various colors (and you may run out of wall space) but it is neat to look at all of the prints...
BeenThereDoneThat74, MSN, RN
That's a cool idea.
We keep a photo album, that child life is in charge of. SOme pics are before, some during (the transplant admission), some are follow ups (after the hair grows back, and the werewolf face subsides). Most of the entries have a drawing by the kids, which range from scribbles to professional looking comic strips ot graffiti like pictures. Every now and then we look at it, and laugh, or shed a tear. When we feel like everyone we care for dies, we take it out to look at all the success stories :)
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