Implementation of a Mentorship Program to Support and Educate Nurses on Perinatal Loss Kainth, Sandeep
Perinatal loss, the experience of losing a fetus or neonate, is extremely difficult for the family and the primary bereavement care provider, the perinatal nurse. Empirical evidence suggests that optimizing the care experience for the bereaved family and supporting the care provider is crucial for cultivating positive experiences for these two populations. Notably, perinatal nurses who are new to perinatal bereavement care and/or palliative care lack the support and education for providing care to bereaved families, which has a detrimental effect on the family’s care experience and the morale of nurses. As a result, nursing mentorship, specifically, a perinatal loss mentorship program, would be valuable for fostering positive experiences for perinatal nurses and the bereaved families, alike. This culminating project explores 1) the topics of mentoring, communication, emotional stressors and coping mechanisms, reflective practice, collaborative learning and decision making, and didactic and experiential learning, in a review of the literature and empirical evidence; and 2) the components and structure of a perinatal loss mentorship program. The program and findings could be generalized to other specialties as it cultivates: 1) holistic and individualized family-centered perinatal bereavement care, and 2) a culture of mentoring, communication, and collaboration among perinatal nurses. This culminating project and the mentorship program has nursing implications that: 1) foster moral resilience, 2) improve interprofessional collaboration, 3) promote support from senior management, 4) encourage mentees to become mentors, 5) recognize the relevance of the logic model framework for program planning and evaluation, and 6) identify the generalizable, educational components of the program to support care providers.
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