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Bereavement Training: Neonatal and Pediatric Death

Are you interested in providing the best care possible when a newborn or older child dies? Our relationship-based approach to neonatal and pediatric bereavement care will help develop or enhance your knowledge, level of skill, and personal awareness for providing bereavement care. This course was designed to provide a relational standard of care for those who provide knowledge, support, and compassion to bereaved patients and families including neonatal through pediatric death. We uniquely address an emotional standard of care, helping each participant understand family-centered care at a deeply personal level. Participants engage with faculty, with a parent and family panel, and with each other to build relational skills. Participants learn techniques to help reduce fear and uncertainty about what to do and say, compassion fatigue, and feeling overwhelmed.

Who should attend?
Nurses, social workers (all levels of practice), chaplains, care coordinators, genetic counselors, physicians, nurse practitioners, hospice and palliative care staff, physician assistants, child life specialists, respiratory therapists, public health nurses, home health visitors, and funeral directors.


Day 1

7:30 a.m. Sign in

8:00 a.m.

  • Being in Relationship
    • Introduction to relationship in neonatal and pediatric bereavement care
    • Using theoretical frameworks to understand relationships
  • Communication
    • Working with bereaved families using communication strategies, including Guided Participation
    • Guided Participation and care giving
    • Communication techniques for delivering difficult news
    • Cultural communication
  • Newborn Death
    • Relationship in practice: Giving care during newborn death (extreme prematurity, death of a multiple, withdrawal of life sustaining treatment)
    • Honoring relationship: Offering choices and memory making

12:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m.

  • Caring for the Dying Child
    • Relationship in practice: Giving care to the dying child and their family (emotional needs of the dying child and anticipatory mourning)
  • Parental Grief
    • Relationship in practice: Parental grief (teen parents, same-sex parents, fathers, mothers)
    • Meaning-making with the death of a child
    • Understanding characteristics of expected grief response and those that can lead to complicated grief

3:00 p.m.

  • Ritual creation
  • Parent panel

4:30 p.m. Adjourn

Day 2

7:30 a.m. Sign in

8:00 a.m.

  • Parent panel debriefing
  • Sudden, Traumatic, and Stigmatizing Death
  • Palliative and Hospice Care 
    • Relationship in practice: Dignity at end of life
    • End-of-life communication strategies
    • Advance care planning (perinatal through adolescent)

12:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m.

  • Spiritual care, hope, and miracles
  • Transitioning relationship
    • Follow-up 
    • Grief conferences
  • Care for the caregiver
    • Supporting yourself and your colleagues
    • Mindful practices and rituals

3:15 p.m Closing ritual

3:30 pm Adjourn

Pre-requirement: Three online modules must be completed prior to attending the classroom segment of the training (cost included in registration fee).

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