Ideas That Work: Helping Patients Cope With Heartbreaking Loss


The outpatient surgery department at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center in Texas came up with a caring way to support patients who undergo dilation and curettage procedures after sudden miscarriages. The patients receive a folder containing expressions of sympathy as well as suggestions for how to cope with their loss. The folder includes information about how patients should physically take care of themselves after the procedure, a directory of grief and loss support groups, a condolence letter from hospital leadership and a sympathy card signed by the staff members who were involved in the patient’s care. “The staff has been trained on how to talk to individuals experiencing this type of loss and given examples of what to say,” says Brandi Parson, MSN, RNC-OB, the center’s surgical navigator supervisor. “Our patients are extremely grateful to receive the packet. They have something comforting to refer back to and, most importantly, they feel cared for physically and emotionally during a time of extreme sadness in their lives.”

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