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Education & Training
POLST for Pediatrics
Conversations about end-of-life care are never easy, especially when the care concerns a seriously ill child. CHPCC, together with the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, has developed a curriculum that teaches clinicians how to have sensitive, meaningful end-of-life care discussions with parents about their child. To be released in 2012, the curriculum guides doctors, nurses, and other providers in using a POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) form to record parents’ wishes for their child’s care in the final days of life. For a sample of the POLST form, see California’s form.
A yearlong development process, which has included input from pediatric palliative care experts throughout the western US, has yielded a day long training that will be offered in northern, central and southern California in 2012.
The curriculum emphasizes the importance of compassionate conversation and relationship-building between family and clinician as the essential foundation to successful completion of the POLST document.
The day long training challenges participants to consider their own values as they consider end of life choices, as well as providing practical education on the key components of POLST. Central to the curriculum is a step by step guide in how to have a successful family meeting which includes conversation about POLST, even “helpful phrases” to use in the conversation.
By the end of the day, clinicians will walk away with concrete new tools they can use in building relationship and guiding the most important medical conversations families will ever have.
Clinical guidelines for talking with parents about POLST:
- Get to know the child and family before considering a discussion about the POLST
- Explain the short and long-term consequences of each treatment option in plain language
- Make recommendations based on expertise
To learn more, click here.
Guidance from CHPCC’s Family Advisory Council on talking with parents about POLST:
- Explain that comfort measures are medical treatment
- Provide honest information in plain language
- Offer a compassionate approach
- Acknowledge the child and relay information appropriately
- Validate the parents
- Respect family ethics, values, and faith
- Define each treatment option, how it will affect quality of life, and who will provide treatment and where
To learn more, click here.
HOPE magazine is a bi-annual publication of CHPCC designed to bring awareness to the issues that surround healthcare for children living with serious, debilitating illnesses and their families.
CHPCC is always on the lookout for published research relevant to the care of seriously ill children and pediatric palliative and hospice care. To view some of our finds, click here.
CHPCC Concurrent Care Survey
CHPCC is currently conducting a survey regarding knowledge of and utilization of the Affordable Care Act, Provision 2302, in which treatment services are available for children and youth under 21 who enroll in hospice. The survey takes 5-7 minutes to complete. If you represent an organization which provides care for children with life-threatening conditions, we would appreciate it if you would complete the survey or forward it to the appropriate person within your organization. Click here for the survey.
Stress and Growth Over Time: Caregiving and Bereaved Parents of Children with Life-Limiting Illnesses
A study conducted by PedPalNET
Are you a parent/guardian whose child has died from a life-limiting illness?
If so, PedPalNET is looking for parents/guardians who are willing to participate in a study of how the experience of having cared for a child with a life-limiting illness changes parents’ lives. For this study, you will be asked to complete a set of questionnaires at two separate times. The questionnaires will be sent to you by mail and will take 1 to 1.5 hours to complete. Questionnaires are available in either English or French.
For more information, or if you are interested in participating in this study, please contact the Research Coordinator at 1-800-810-0721.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Susan Cadell, Assistant Professor & Director of the Centre for Healthy Living, Wilfrid Laurier University