Empty Arms Speaking & Professional Development

McMurrich teaching at holyoke medical center , november, 2015

McMurrich teaching at holyoke medical center , november, 2015

Ensuring that caregivers are well trained in knowing how to compassionately interact with the bereaved is one of our primary goals. It's the first place where we begin to support the families who need us. Empty Arms both organizes and hosts larger education events, as well as offers smaller professional trainings tailored to a group of providers wishing to increase their own knowledge of how to compassionately care for the bereaved. Carol McMurrich, our director, has a Masters in Education and has offered one, two, three, and four-hour presentations to university nursing courses, midwifery practices, doula groups, and nurses.

Our next scheduled training will be held at Cambridge Health Alliance on Thursday, January 30th from 10-2 and will provide 4 credit hours of continuing education for nurses. Click here for details and to register. 

We invite you to view this brochure to see some of the details of what we can offer in a training. 

Whether you are looking to provide a larger training to a diverse group or are simply looking for somebody to provide an in-service training to your staff, Carol will work with you to develop a program which will best suit your needs. 

A presentation about compassionate caregiving can contains some or all of the following:

  • Brief history of perinatal loss along with the statistics: in order to understand the frequency of miscarriage, stillbirth, and early infant death in the US today and how the experience of loss has changed over time
  • Grief: A basic understanding, knowing that all the work we do at the time of loss aims to create a framework within which the family will grieve
  • The loss: creating a schema and developing norms. This includes a discussion of your role in the decision-making process, helping families make sense of what’s happened, and understanding how others behave in similar circumstances through connection, empathy, and the sharing of story.
  • Presenting choices and making memories: How do we develop trust, ask questions, and present options in a myriad of ways? How do we talk about birth plans, funerals, autopsies, photography, hand/foot casting, collect mementos, provide follow up, and more?
  • What to say/what not to say. A conversation about words and their impact, as well as a list for your pocket.
  • The subsequent pregnancy: following a family through loss to the next step that often follows.

As a bereaved parent and experienced facilitator of Empty Arms, Carol weaves her own experience and that of many others she has worked with (with permission) to create an intimate, personal presentation with adequate time for participants to share their stories, emotions, and concerns. Knowing the impact that educating providers can have on the experience of families experiencing loss, professional trainings are one of Carol’s favorite things to do.

If you are interested in booking a training through Empty Arms, please contact us at emptyarmsbereavement@gmail.com and indicate where you are located and what length of seminar you are hoping for. Our pricing is based on travel and lecture time and is as inexpensive as we can possibly make it, knowing how important this topic is for providers and how little funding can sometimes exist to cover it.