Support at the Hospital
A LifePoint Family Support Counselor (FSC) is a caring person who supports and educates the family members of patients who have suffered a severe brain injury. An FSC’s primary concern is always the family. When someone suffers a severe brain injury it is often sudden and unexpected.
The Family Support Counselor is someone who comes to the hospital to comfort the family and walks them through one of the most tragic times in their life. A Family Support Counselor is often a shoulder to cry on, as well as a source of information. Throughout the whole hospitalization, the Family Support Counselor is working with the hospital staff to ensure that the patient’s family is updated with the most current and accurate information.
In the case of Spanish-speaking families, LifePoint provides a Spanish-speaking Family Support Counselor who can relate to the family’s concerns and communicate readily.
The FSC stays with the family as long as they are at the hospital. This may be hours, or days or even a week. During that time, the Family Support Counselor assists the physicians and nurses in educating the family about neurological function and the various tests that are being performed to monitor the patient’s condition. If those tests ultimately confirm that the patient is brain dead, families often have great difficulty understanding what has occurred. The Family Support Counselor works closely with the hospital staff to help educate the family about brain death and to ensure they reach a clear understanding.
If the physician declares that brain death has occurred despite all efforts to save the patient, donation often becomes an option. At this time, the Family Support Counselor performs an initial physical assessment and reviews medical records to determine the patient’s preliminary eligibility for organ and tissue donation.
If the patient is a candidate for donation, the FSC provides the family with end-of-life options and the information they need to make an informed decision about organ, tissue and eye donation. When the family consents to donation, the FSC guides the patient’s family through the process, does a thorough medical/social history on the potential donor, and assists the hospital staff in arranging for family members to say goodbye to their loved one.
The Family Support Counselor remains with the donor family as long as they are at the hospital.
Next Step >> Donation Outcome & Support