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Module 5: Improving Communication and Strengthening Relationships

Difficult Conversations in Pediatric Palliative Care: Supporting an Adolescent Facing Death


 Facilitator's Guide Download PDF  Order the video 

This seminar focuses on the challenge faced by practitioners, children and families alike to address the "elephant in the room" when a child's death is inevitable. Attention will be given to the barriers and obstacles that can stand in the way of open communication regarding the death of a child or adolescent. The third segment of a three-part videotape will examine the experience of a 17-year-old patient facing death, and the communication and relational challenges for healthcare practitioners assigned to her care. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss how these challenges are manifest in their own clinical practice and ways that they attempt to address them.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify a range of challenges that practitioners face in regard to communicating openly about the anticipated death of a child or adolescent, and ways that such challenges may be addressed.
  • Understand the emotional challenges inherent in bearing witness to the experience of children, adolescents and families in these difficult conversations.
  • Discuss the challenges and opportunities in their own healthcare institutions regarding optimal clinical practice in communication and relationship-building with children, adolescents, and families.

[Go to Activity 1]
[Go to Activity 2]