Upcoming Programmes in Bereavement Programme for Health Care professionals

06 November Nov

Bereavement Study Day

06 November 2019, 08:00AM to 04:00PM
National Maternity Hospital, Midwives Sitting Room, Holles Street, Dublin 2

NMBI Category-1 Approved Programme. CEUs=7.5

Programme Rationale:

Bereavement and loss support is a substantial and sensitive feature of professionals working in the obstetric field. Caring for, and supporting bereaved parents is demanding, difficult, stressful, and emotionally demanding, thus making the provision of effective bereavement support challenging (Kohner & Henley 2001, Mitchell 2005, Chan et al. 2007, 2008, 2009). It is suggested that the outcomes for many parents following the loss of their baby depends on the midwives’ ability to provide effective bereavement support (Cote Arsenault & Donato 2007, Henley & Scott 2007). Training and supporting staff that come into contact with parents at any stage of their care in hospital helps to ensure that parents will receive sensitive care. The course offers insight and awareness into a comprehensive range of issues around the dynamics of grief and loss from death, to facilitate those who attend, to develop sensitive and ethical practice in bereavement care.

Programme Philosophy:

Whilst bereavement is a normal life experience, the expression, duration, and intensity of grief will be unique for each individual. The midwife/nurse and allied health care professionals each have a role throughout the bereavement process, including ensuring that the woman and her family have appropriate information to facilitate an informed choice.

The philosophy underpinning this programme is to empower healthcare professional to provide empathy and support to the women and families they encounter and to alleviate any unnecessary suffering caused by a lack of understanding of the grieving process

In the Centre for Midwifery Education we commit to an andragogical approach to learning in which proactivity, enquiry and autonomy feature predominantly (Quinn 2013). As a result we acknowledge that programme participants are adult learners with existing knowledge and a wealth of experience and therefore utilise teaching strategies that encourage reflection dialogue and debate. Value is placed on the experience, expertise and ability of programme facilitators to impart evidence based knowledge.

Programme Aim:

This study day is designed to support midwives, nurses and allied healthcare professionals in meeting the challenge of providing high quality bereavement care, focusing on cultural diversity, physical and emotional care of families, follow up support within the community.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this programme it is anticipated that attendees will be able to:

  • Communicate effectively with bereaved families

  • Provide appropriate physical and emotional care to bereaved families.

  • Work effectively as part of the multidisciplinary team when dealing with bereavement

  • Provide accurate, appropriate information to parents on available follow-up supports

Indicative Content

  • Understanding Grief, Responses to Grief- review major theories

  • Spiritual Care- understand Role of Chaplain; Mortuary visit; Buriel/Funeral rites; Cultural diversity and bereavement

  • Bereavement Support Skills- Listening, Communication, Therapeutic touch/presence

  • Pathology/Post Mortem- link with notifiable deaths, investigations into unexplained foetal/neonatal demise

  • Self-care; Staff Support

  • Parent Support Group Representative- offer a 'service-user' perspective on bereavement experiences

  • Clinical Midwifery Care Pathways. These shall cover the following topics:


  • Early Pregnancy Loss

  • Stillbirth

  • Prenatal Diagnosis- cover breaking bad news

  • Care of the Dying Baby- incorporate relevant palliative care aspects; CuddleCot demonstration

Teaching and Learning Strategies

A variety of teaching and learning strategies will be utilised to maximise attendee involvement and draw on their experiences to include presentations, discussions, reflection on practice, audio-visual aids and experiential group work.

Target Audience

Primarily clinical healthcare professionals  (midwives, nurses, health care assistants, medical personnel) but open to any individual who is involved in the care of bereaved parents.

Programme Coordinator: Hazel Cazzini 014085525 hcazzini@coombe.ie or nhealy@coombe.ie