They have been nominated for the Johnsons Baby Award for Excellence in Midwifery Education for the project ‘Developing a Bereavement Care Initiative for Student Midwives within Pre-registration Midwifery Education’. The project evolved from student requests for training which would prepare them to offer supportive care to families experiencing loss and bereavement in childbirth.
The initiative extends across the three years of training and aims to help students to explore their personal understanding and experiences of loss, death and bereavement within a supportive environment. The programme includes a series of lectures and workshops on the theory of grief, bereavement and counselling which are enhanced by talks from clinical midwife specialists providing bereavement support. Students are involved during a bereavement study day which includes storytelling, role play and clinical skills workshops.
The programme has been devised around the input from parents who have suffered perinatal loss and bereavement or the birth of a child with additional health needs. Their input is a vital component of the bereavement study day in the second year and is therefore an essential element within the bereavement care initiative.
The initiative has facilitated student led reflection and evaluation as a means of enhancing knowledge, competence and confidence in supporting distressed families and colleagues; particularly following perinatal loss and bereavement. As a result it is believed that students will feel well prepared and better able to cope in clinical practice. Initial feedback from students has been extremely positive and this will be explored further through a research project to discover the students’ experiences of the bereavement care initiative.
The awards will take place on Thursday 24th January 2013 in London.