Dana Barrow, RNC, is the coordinator for our fetal demise program and carries out this role with great compassion and loving care. She treats every fetal death occurrence as importantly and respectfully as if it had happened to one of her own family members. She has added many personal touches to the program to ensure that family members feel their baby’s life had meaning and was validated through respectful and loving gestures. The family receives several mementos of their baby (photos, molded foot prints, stuffed animals) in addition to being carefully dressed in sweet little cozy pajamas. Dana not only provides emotional and mental support but also makes sure families have all the tools needed for future needs by doing follow up phone calls and referrals to grief counseling.
One evening on my way out the door after a long day, I noticed Dana sitting in an empty labor room alone rocking a tiny fetal demise infant. I stopped and asked her if she was alright. Dana told me the distraught parents were being discharged and could not imagine leaving their baby alone in a refrigerator awaiting the coroner. Dana promised them she would sit and hold the baby until the coroner arrived and that the baby would not be alone or in the refrigerator. The parents were discharged and left feeling so appreciative to know someone, a stranger, would do this for them. True to her word, there sat Dana in an empty dark labor room rocking their baby so tenderly with tears in her eyes waiting for the coroner. Dana ended up staying long after her shift had ended to keep her promise.
Because of Dana’s commitment to this program, the process for handling every demise that comes through our unit has been well thought out and orchestrated with great care. Some of even the smallest efforts from the nursing staff have had the grandest impact on patients during this very difficult time.
Nomination submitted by: Susan Sidoti, RN
Labor and Delivery