The Importance of Nurses within the Red Cross

The American Red Cross has a long history of nurses working in multiple capacities within the organization.  Drawing blood, teaching classes, disaster relief work are all areas nurses have supported the organization over time. Here is an article on just one more program, were the talents and compassion of nurses are utilized.

Red Cross condolence program volunteers help families in need By Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN

They witness firsthand the pain, suffering and despair of those who have lost everything, including their loved ones.

They are the volunteer American Red Cross nurses throughout the U.S. who visit next of kin after fatal single or mass casualties. As members of the organization’s condolence program, they may travel across country and spend weeks or months helping families in need.

Rita Grady, RN

“The greatest service that we offer is our ability to listen and hear what family members have to say,” said Red Cross Health Service Manager Rita M. Grady, RN, BN, BVE, MSHCA, who traveled from California to the New York/New Jersey region during Superstorm Sandy. “They realize that their story is being heard, and the more they tell, the better they may feel.”

Along with a nurse, a Red Cross case worker, a mental health professional and/or a chaplain are part of the integrated care team in the condolence program.

They help families in the worst of times, often in the midst of death and destruction. Some nurses have accompanied family members to identify the remains of loved ones after 9/11, and others offered family support at a Buffalo, N.Y., airplane crash site in 2009.

“Despite the extremely difficult realities, we let them know that people of the U.S. care, and that they are not alone,” Grady said.

Click HERE to read the rest of the article.

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