Professional Credit Award

Although death in childhood is relatively uncommon, the specific care needs of the child and family require a reflective, family centred and evidence-based approach to practice. This module provides students with the opportunity to explore what life-limiting illness means in the context of childhood and gain an overview of the key concepts which make palliative care for children and their families different to palliative care offered to adults. Students will also develop a deeper understanding of the range of illnesses which affect children, and for whom palliative care may be required. In particular, you will learn that, unlike adult palliative care which historically has been predominantly cancer focused, most children in need of palliative care have non-malignant disease which is often neurological, metabolic or genetic in origin. This module will consider the incidence and prevalence of life-threatening illness for children in Ireland and an understanding as to why paediatric palliative care requires a specific set of unique skills for practice.

The module runs over 10 weeks and there are five units in the module:
Unit 1   focuses on key definitions and gives an introduction to the concept of life-limiting illness in childhood
Unit 2   explores the meaning of family-centred care and looks at the needs of core care groups such as siblings and adolescents
Unit 3   reflects the value of multi-agency working and the important role of the voluntary sector in end-of-life care for children. It also provides a critical reflection on the Irish policy on children’s palliative care
Unit 4   explores the principles of symptom management applied to children, including the supportive care of the child and family in terminal illness
Unit 5   considers the dimensions of grief, loss and bereavement as experienced by children and their families

The module team includes: Claire Quinn, Lecturer and clinical remit in community children’s palliative care who has a special interest the promotion of children's palliative care in Ireland, and Laura Dempsey, Programme Director of the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Palliative Care) programme.

Target Market 
All RGNs, RNID, RSCN working with children with life limiting illnesses in an acute or community setting.

Students must be currently working with children at end of life who have a life limiting illness. Students must also complete a 3 day placement in a paediatric palliative care setting.

For further details contact:

Mari Moran (Mornings: Wednesday - Friday)

School of Nursing & Midwifery 
NUI Galway