Critical Care Family and Staff Support: Interview with Sue Gammill

At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Sue Gammill about her work with families of patients being a liaison between physicians and families.

Sue has always believed that how we handle death in health care is important to the survivors. Sue works in the pediatric intensive care unit in Atlanta, Georgia and she believe they could be doing a better job.

So what Sue did was write a proposal that she called “My Dream Job”. Sue explains more about the role she created for herself in the video below.

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • Sue’s proposal detailed her taking on a role as a liaison between physicians and families to help the families better understand what the physicians were saying to them.
  • Sue feels like there’s a difference between the science and emotion of what the doctors were telling the families, and the emotion of what the families were feeling.
  • Sue’s job has blossomed into not only working with families who children have died in the intensive care unit, but also staff support and the championing of organ donation.
  • If you’re working in the medical field and would like to do what Sue does, her recommendation is to first formulate what you believe you can do to make a difference. You have to be passionate about it and want to do it for the right reasons. Then write your proposal and present it to your leadership team.

For more video interviews, please see the Open To Hope YouTube channel.

Gloria Horsley

More Articles Written by Gloria

Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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