This summer I had the opportunity to attend the Resolve Through Sharing Bereavement Training on Perinatal Death conference with several other genetic counselors from CCHMC. Attending this conference allowed me the opportunity to expand my knowledge on the process and emotions that patients and families go through when experiencing a perinatal death. During the conference I was able to discuss practices and policies at other hospitals with other health care professionals, including social workers and labor and delivery nurses. I found it especially helpful to attend the conference with other genetic counselors. This allowed me to hear and learn from some of their experiences and reflect on how this will impact my own future genetic counseling career.
Although I am currently undecided on what I would like to specialize in upon graduation, I feel that this experience has the potential to translate into any specialty of genetic counseling. No matter what the age of the patients are that I am working with there is always the chance to be impacted by a loss. During my summer rotation I was able to put some of the information I learned into practice after two of my pediatric patients passed away. We were able to help the mother talk through difficult decisions she was going to have to make and then provide bereavement resources. Additionally during my summer rotation, I was involved with a case where a difficult loss had been recently experienced. During this particular situation I was able to include some of the information and knowledge from Resolve Through Sharing into my psychosocial counseling.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend this conference. I’m glad that I have the foundation and framework to build relationships and comfort patients and families when going through difficult times related to perinatal death. This was invaluable experience that I highly encourage other genetic counseling students take advantage of in the future.