Public Health Nurses
Bereavement Sensitivity and Support Training for Nurses
After a family leaves the hospital or clinic, it is often nurses who provide home visits and other services to bereaved families. This may include helping families to understand the grieving process, identifying the differences between grief and depression, connecting with medical care and local resources and providing guidance on medical care, returning to work and planning for future children.
However, nursing training and education do not always prepare nurses to support families after a loss. During trainings conducted by NSIDPSC staff in Tennessee and Mississippi, nurses expressed feelings of limited preparation for meeting the challenge of supporting families in the initial and continuing grief process. If they are uncomfortable, nurses may avoid parents in the hospital and community nurses may avoid making home visits to bereaved families. To better support families and staff, training on appropriate bereavement support is needed for nurses.