This is a program utilizing veteran parents to provide peer support to NICU families, regardless of whether support is provided in-person, by phone or Internet.
The duties include:
- 1. Defining the roles of a parent mentor:
- To actively and empathetically listen to and encourage NICU parents without trying to solve their problems or give them advice;
- To assist parents in identifying and utilizing their current support systems.
- To offer emotional and informational support.
- To encourage advocacy for their baby.
- To empower parents to step into their parental role as an essential member of their NICU baby's care team.
- To identify when to ask for help and where help is available for parents that mentors are supporting.
- 2. Defining expectations of a parent mentor:
- To maintain confidentiality: the manner in which each hospital handles the sharing of patient information should be communicated.
- To treat all parents with respect, regardless of their cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status and, religion.
- To make a time commitment for the program.
- 3. Development of essential skill set:
- Basic communication and reflective listening skills.
- Understanding the expected and normal emotional responses of NICU parents, and responses that indicate parents might be at risk for more serious mental health issues.
- Understanding the dynamics of grief and loss.
- Knowledge of hospital and community resources.
- Community Outreach
- People Skills
- Problem Solving
- Relationship Building
- Verbal / Written Communication
- Critical Thinking
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- on an as needed basis when a family needs support
- Must have been a preemie parent
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