Supporting families at bedside

Workshop Dates

Friday, October 18, 2019, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Friday, November 15, 2019, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm


BCH Simulation Headquarters (SimPeds)


Employees of Boston Children’s Hospital: Complimentary

Non-BCH employees: $295

Continuing Education

CNE and Social Work credits are available.


Clinicians simulate an infant's examination in the CICU with worried parents (IPEP's trained improvisational actors) in the room).


How do you support a parent or family member who is present during an invasive procedure or a resuscitation being conducted on their child? How do you help a parent cope so that the team can focus on the child's critical medical needs?

In this intensive live-simulated workshop, you will learn about the patient, clinician, and family perspectives; the range of typical parental responses; and associated strategies to provide information, and emotional support that can be used to assist parental coping.

Each workshop offers didactic presentation, review of the hospital guidelines on the role of the parent liaison, opportunities for sharing successful strategies and previous professional experiences, realistic enactments with professional actors, videotape feedback and debriefing, and group discussion. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their personal and professional experience, and how that can influence their approach to best supporting parents.

Participant Reviews

“Participating in life-like simulations through PERCS has given me a safe learning experience to practice my professional skills. It has allowed me to collaborate with both colleagues in different professions and actors serving as parents. This experience has helped me to gain perspectives and enhance my work with children and families.”

Who Should Attend

Supporting Families at the Bedside is an interdisciplinary course designed for Boston Children’s Hospital and pediatric staff members who are likely to serve in the role of parent liaison during invasive procedures and resuscitation. Interdisciplinary participants who are likely to serve in the capacity of parent liaison during invasive procedures and resuscitation are welcome to enroll including but not limited to:

  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Social workers
  • Psychologists
  • Chaplains
  • Child Life Specialists
  • Medical Interpreters

Workshop enrollment size: 10-15 participants


This highly regarded workshop is led by Boston Children's Hospital and IPEPs premier senior critical care nurse faculty and family faculty with longstanding expertise in medical communication and ethics.

Christine M. Rachwal, RN, MSN, CCRN

Course Director and Faculty
PERCS Rounds Champion
Clinical Specialist Nurse, Cardiac ICU, Boston Children's Hospital

Mary Anne Bell, RN, BSN, CCRN

Faculty Associate
PERCS Rounds Champion
Clinical Specialist Nurse, Cardiac ICU, Boston Children's Hospital

Erin Ward, MsEd, CAS

Family Faculty
Faculty Associate
Co-founder/VP TrachCare, Inc.