The Importance of Medical Staff Education in Pediatric Palliative Care
Krista E. Livingston
Durham Technical Community College
P- Pediatric patients/parents in need of end-of-life care/support
I- patients/parents receive support and palliative care by formally trained medical staff
C- Patients/parents who receive palliative care by medical staff with no formal training
O- Pediatric patients/parents have a more satisfying experience during end-of-life care when given by formally trained medical staff.
The Importance of Medical Staff Education in Pediatric Palliative Care
The impending death of a child is almost inconceivable for a parent. A non-sequential string of events that rocks a family to the core. While experiencing these devastating life events, the child and their family will be taken care of by a health care team. Pediatric palliative care is aimed to improve the quality of life and reduce stress for the patient and their family. While any member of the patients treatment team may participate in this care, it may not be the best practice for the patient, family, or medical staff. When the medical team has not been formally educated on how to manage care for a dying child, conflicts may arise. With specialized training, the medical team could vastly improve the end-of-life experience for the patients and their families.
Background of the Problem
According to Beckstrand, Rawle, Callister, & Mandleco (2010) “Death of a child evokes deep feelings of tragedy, devastation, and painful confusion at the injustice of a life being ended prematurely.” (p. 544) These are the raw emotions that are prevalent when a child is dying. For the child and the family, these final fleeting m...
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...states “There is a need for health professionals to better understand the concept of palliative care, factors that contribute to honest, open authentic and therapeutic relationships of those concerned in the care of the dying child” (p.59). The care provided to a child and family at the end-of-life can have a lasting effect on the way they grieve. When the medical team has received the specialized training for palliative care of a child, it helps lessen many of the barriers that lie between the family and the health care team. The medical team plays a vital role in the families perception of the care their child is receiving. When the death of a child is approached in a multi-disciplinary way,where everyone on the medical team works in sync, It provides an optimal environment that could improve the end-of-life experience for dying children. (Beckstrand et al., 2010)
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