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Pediatric Palliative Care and Hospice: Final Weeks, Days, and Hours

presented by Joan Chrastek, RN, CHPN, DNP, FPCN

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Joan Chrastek receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Joan Chrastek has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 46 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 36 Minutes

Caring for children at the end of life can be challenging in many ways. Yet with support, knowledge, and compassion, it can be fulfilling and meaningful. This course provides a brief overview of caring for children at the end of life and the best ways to support their families. It is an introduction to the dying process, medications, and how to be there for parents and siblings. This course is written for an audience that does not have much experience in taking care of children at the end of life and their families. It is case based and addresses the needs of the child, family, and the nurse.

Meet Your Instructor

Joan Chrastek, RN, CHPN, DNP, FPCN

Joan "Jody" Chrastek was born and brought up in India and trained as a nurse in Scotland. She has worked as a midwife and hospice nurse in the UK, India, and the USA with adults and children. She has worked in hospice and palliative care for more than 35 years in both inpatient and community…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Caring for the Dying Child

This chapter reviews the dying process in children, including the differences and similarities to the adult process. Every death is unique, just as every labor and birth is unique. Some common physical signs and symptoms of the dying process are discussed in this chapter. It is important for the nurse to know what signs and symptoms the child may have to be well prepared to address them, and to guide and support the family.

2. Supporting the Role of the Parent

This chapter discusses the importance of the parent’s role in the dying process. In death, as in life, parents are generally the child’s main comfort. The nurse’s role is to guide and support the parents and the child. This support must include respect of the parent's knowledge, culture, and communication style. The death of a child is quite possibly the hardest experience parents will have in their lives, so nurses should learn how best to support and guide them.

3. Caring for Siblings

Siblings of dying children often feel left out as their parents struggle to care for the dying child. This chapter discusses how palliative care nurses can support the parents in their interactions with the siblings. Additionally, Jody goes over how the nurse can reach out to the siblings (with parent permission) and provide important connections that can be very helpful.

4. Building Resiliency for the Clinician

Although fulfilling, caring for children can be emotionally taxing, especially when death and sickness are involved. This chapter discusses ways nurses can grow in resiliency to stay healthy and continue to provide well-balanced care. These skills are essential for nurses who strive to maintain their own emotional well-being while providing quality care.

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