Obstetric Complications: Debrief the Grief

 In Nurses Weekly

Witnessing the miracle of life each day brings joy and passion to obstetric nurses, but maternal and infant complications or death can bring profound anguish.

Speaking about the event can clear up misunderstandings and remove blame, and professional counseling can help staff feel stronger and begin healing. Ultimately, the freedom to express emotions openly provides opportunities to decompress and defuse tension.

Education about grief, including the symptoms of secondary traumatic stress, can help nurses navigate these events. A debriefing protocol can help begin the healing process, which improves affected nurses’ physical and mental health.

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