During the program, the students took a tour of the facility, and learned about what happens after the loved one leaves their care.
Meghan Linton, the Nationally Licensed Managing Funeral Director and Embalmer, Pre-need/Aftercare Counselor and Licensed Insurance Agent for Ray Funeral Home, gave an educational PowerPoint presentation to the group of students.
Main focuses were on the history of funerals and embalming, how to assist with proper care for a loved one during removal, advancement in technology and the funeral industry, respect and dignity of deceased, the process of embalming, bereavement care and grief preparation, the process of cremation, and how Ray Funeral Home has developed programs to help families financially during their time of need.
In her presentation Linton said, “Funeral services use to be so cookie-cutter. Now-a-days, we try to focus on honoring the life of the person who has passed away. We like to base services on hobbies and interests of the loved one. By celebrating a person’s life, it gives the opportunity for those hurting to be able to smile from the memories that the family hold so dear. This is what honoring a loved one is about.”
Throughout the presentation, students were encouraged to ask questions concerning their role in communicating with the funeral home, local and state agencies, and the families during the delicate transition period following the loss of a patient.
"There are cultural influences of dealing with a death and dying in nursing. It's a culminating experience. This is the first time we've done anything like this," explains Emily Newman, Instructor of Nursing and Simulation Lab Coordinator at Delta State University. "It's been very emotional for us. I think it better prepares them to be more caring nurses. We've learned how to do post mortem care back in the Sims Lab, we've dealt with scenarios of dealing with the families because we want to feel like we provided holistic care for them in dealing not only with the patient, but with the family too."
“I want to educate the primary care professionals in hopes that they will be able to tell families about all their options. It’s all about a service to the community rather than having a financial gain. The Delta State School of Nursing is doing a wonderful job in preparing their students on how to care for their patients before, during, and after their passing. We would like to thank DSU for allowing us to be a part of their educational process," said David Ray, Licensed Funeral Director and Owner of Ray Funeral Home. "We welcome any group to tour our facility and view our educational presentation on all the options we have available so we will be able to better serve our community."
Later in the day, as part of the Management of Client Care course, the nursing students met with the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA), to discuss the option and process of organ donation.