Returning to Work after the Death of a Baby or Child – Video for Supporting Healthcare Staff

Johnston, Shona; Gould, Samantha; Lee, Vivienne and Kalthoff, Judith (2023). Returning to Work after the Death of a Baby or Child – Video for Supporting Healthcare Staff. In: National Bereavement Education Conference.



Introduction - The death of a baby or child at any age or gestation is devastating. Returning to work in health care following the death of a baby or child can be hugely challenging. This may be due to the demands of the role and the emotions and feelings triggered by being back in a health care environment. Highlighting these challenges and the support health care professionals may need when returning to work after the death of a child or baby is important for staff: both the individual and the team around them.
Methods – A collaborative multi-professional approach was used to design and produce a short audio-visual recording. This involved the input of two health professionals with lived experience of returning to work in a health care environment after the death of a child, a child mortality nurse, and a clinical psychologist. The aim of the video was to use lived experiences to highlight what had helped and also hindered the professionals' return to work. The video was produced using Canva software and relevant permissions were sought prior to sharing the recording.
Results - The results of this project are far-reaching. For the professionals involved, the opportunity to tell their stories whilst helping others has been deeply cathartic. Feedback from fellow healthcare professionals has been positive with people keen to share the recording more widely.
Conclusion - This project is aimed at staff who themselves have had a baby or child die to reassure them that they are not alone. We also hope to empower managers and colleagues to feel more confident in supporting the member of staff upon their return to work.

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