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2nd Family-Centered Care Conference

“I have always said that it would be good to see parents and child(ren) as one patient, and this became even more clear when my twins were born. While children receive primary care they cannot speak for themselves, and this is why parents need to be seen as their spokespersons at all times. For this reason alone, parents should be part of any multidisciplinary consultation regarding their children, in which care plans and such are discussed.”

Family-Centered Care in times of COVID-19

The local and global impacts of the pandemic and changing circumstances lead to restricted visiting hours, and directly impacts FCC, the department staff and parents.

Every moment parents have in the NICU with their newborn is precious. While being in the midst of a global pandemic, it became even more clear what the importance and role of Family-Centered Care continues to be.

As a result of the first FCC conference, many changes and improvements were already achieved. However, the continuous and rapidly changing circumstances had negatively impacted the further implementation of Family-Centered practices in the hospital.

Many hospitals worldwide, including ours here on Curaçao, restricted family access. The Curaçao Medical Center shortened visitation to solely a one-time slot of 2 hours per day, affecting department staff and parents instantly. The initial total lockdown on the island impacted many, especially families with sick children, and the possibility to carry out FCC principles immensely, especially in the NICU.

Conference Information
  • Conference date: August 29, 2020
  • Virtual Conference
Highlights summarized
  • Transformed the in-person conference to a virtual one, in less than 72 hours.
  • As a result of this e-learning material became available.
  • The importance and role of FCC continues to show.
  • Visiting hours were restricted at the pediatric department.
Participants Total 74
  • Pediatricians, Neonatologists, and other specialists
  • General Practitioners
  • Pediatric Nurses
  • Families
Key learnings & direct impact
  • Knowledge gained through shared experiences with COVID-19 worldwide,
  • The need for emotional support and additional family support services was highlighted,
  • The day after the conference visitation hours in the NICU were changed from one-time slot of 2 hours per day to a total of six hours per day (3-time slots of 2 hours each),
  • RMHC is now considered a serious partner when it comes to all decisions involving family support in local hospital Curaçao Medical Center.

“The biggest eye openers from the FCC-conferences always came after the parent testimonials. We often fail to realize what the impact of our—caregivers and doctors— behavior, attitude and vocabulary is and the effect it has on the parents. For example: the use of medical terminology, the way we explain situations and the times we forgot that the people sitting in front of us are parents and not our nursing and doctor colleagues.”

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