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Identifying the Deliberate Prevention and Intervention Strategies of Pediatric Palliative Care Teams Supporting Providers during Times of Staff Distress

Journal title
Journal of palliative medicine
Publication year
Jonas, D. F.; Bogetz, J. F.

BACKGROUND: Pediatric palliative care focuses on caring for children who are seriously ill and their families. These children are often attended to by many other providers who face various challenges as they support these families. Issues involving staff distress are common. Although involving pediatric palliative care teams is recommended, little has been discussed in the literature about the roles and deliberate strategies that pediatric palliative care providers deploy when supporting staff. OBJECTIVE: This case description focuses on staff distress experienced by pediatric providers and aims to make specific recommendations regarding the ways in which pediatric palliative care teams can be helpful in supporting the needs of providers in these challenging care situations. DESIGN: Study and analysis of four pediatric palliative care cases from multidisciplinary perspectives. CONCLUSIONS: In challenging pediatric patient care situations, pediatric palliative care teams may be utilized to support providers when they experience staff distress. Techniques also used with patients, such as active listening and nonjudgmental validation, can be useful. Respecting each person’s opinion, establishing goals of care and fostering open communication about the complexities of each child’s case can be helpful to prevent burnout and job loss. By promoting understanding and open communication, providers can feel supported in caring for children with serious illnesses and their families.

Research abstracts