Saying Goodbye

After consenting to donation, the family and friends may request to say their good-byes at the bedside. Some individuals opt to leave the hospital to take care of details such as funeral arrangements or just to "take care of themselves." Others choose to stay and with pediatric parents, most opt to stay at the bedside until their child is taken to the operating room. Parents may even want to hold their child, a request that can be facilitated by the RSC. Hospital staff may verbalize uneasiness regarding family at the bedside due to their own emotional stress regarding the death of one of their patients. However, the RSC needs to resolve such concerns by explaining to hospital staff members that these are the last hours that family members can hold, touch, and even talk to their loved ones. If family and friends choose to stay at the hospital, they are supported and asked if they would like to step out of the room during such procedures as obtaining blood, echocardiogram, physical examination, etc. Reassurance that they may return after the procedure eases concerns. If family and friends decide to stay, the RSC must communicate this request so they are not asked to leave, which could contradict what they have been told.

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