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Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care 

Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care
Chapter:
Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care
Author(s):

Vanessa Battista

, and Gwenn LaRagione

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190862374.003.0059
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date: 18 October 2019

This chapter provides an overview of pediatric palliative care, which is a family-centered approach to multifaceted care that focuses on a child’s and family’s well-being along a physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and social continuum. Pediatric hospice is a necessary and unique part of comprehensive pediatric palliative care as it can be provided simultaneously with curative treatment through the provision of concurrent care. Pediatric palliative care is best delivered by an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals working together to effectively communicate with families, provide excellent pain and symptom management, and support children and families in making decisions that are best for them. The goal of pediatric palliative care is to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for everyone affected by the illness of the child, including siblings, parents, grandparents, other relatives, teachers, school friends, faith community, and neighbors, as well as the healthcare professionals involved in their care. Nurses who care for dying children and their families have a unique and essential role, and they need significant personal and professional support and opportunities for ongoing education, as well as for self-care and reflection. Pediatric hospice and palliative care is a rapidly developing field with many opportunities for growth and expansion.

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