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Pediatric Nursing And Palliative Care

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The words pediatric and palliative care when put together are rather difficult to stomach. The image of a sprouting new life when juxtaposed with concerns for end-of-life care is almost ironically antithetical. It is easy to see why pediatric palliative care is an emerging subspecialty with much left to fully develop. Although highly uncomfortable for most to talk about, pediatric palliative care is a real and intricate necessity for many families with children facing a life-threatening illness. Leming and Dickinson state that in addition to being interdisciplinary, palliative care is unique in that it is both family-centered and patient-centered with the common goal of meeting the physical, psychosocial, social and spiritual needs of…show more content…
This paper will focus on the importance of communication between health care professionals and the patient/family during end of life and how this seemingly basic necessity is a quality requiring much more development within the educational realm.
Palliative care and it’s indication for the pediatric population was introduced by the World Health Organization and is described as being “the active total care of the child’s body, mind and spirit, as well as a means of providing support to the family” (Morgan, 2009). Palliative care goes far beyond the science of treatments and trials and instead addresses the psychosocial needs of a patient. For most health professionals, moving away from science and objective pathways can prove to be highly uncomfortable as it is a pathway that is mostly unknown. In the same article, Morgan goes on to explain that with the pediatric population in particular, there is a certain “avoidance of death and its surrounding issues” due to the uncertainty of treatment outcomes (2009). The article asserts that in an effort to evade the anguish of childhood death, nurses oftentimes “keep themselves busy with physical care and try to minimize interactions with families as much as possible” (Morgan, 2009). In addition, this is a hugely distinctive population to deal with end-of-life care as the different
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