Professional Credit Award

This module focuses on developing in depth comprehension of the philosophy of palliative care for children and the application of key concepts in relation to the assessment and management of symptoms. The aim of this module is to enhance students’ understanding and knowledge of the philosophy, principles and practice of pain and symptom management in caring for individuals with life limiting illness. It aims to develop knowledge and skills in assessing, diagnosing, planning, intervening and evaluating evidence – based theories, related research findings and principles of pain and symptom management. Students will also examine the role of technology in supporting quality of life for the child and adolescent with a life limiting illness.

The module runs over 12 weeks and there are five units in the module:

Symptom Assessment within Contemporary Palliative Care: This unit explores the definitions and principles of palliative care and examines the levels of palliative care in Irish society. It identifies the scope of palliative care in managing patients with malignant and non-malignant conditions while considering in detail the significance of impeccable assessment in symptom management. Finally this unit explores the use of assessment tools in promoting quality of life for the palliative child or adolescent.

Pain Assessment, Management and Treatment: This unit focus specifically on the concept of pain, the incidence of pain, how pain is classified. Emphasis is placed on effective assessment of pain as well as examining different theories of pain and knowledge on the pharmacological and non-pharmacological aspects of pain management.

Gastro-Intestinal Symptoms associated with End of Life:  This unit will examine the mechanisms and pathophysiology of distressing issues associated with the GIT. The assessment and management of these problems associated with the gastro-intestinal tract are addressed.

Palliative Care Emergencies and other Symptoms: This unit focuses on the common palliative care emergencies and symptoms encountered by children with life-limiting illnesses. This unit identifies the importance of early identification, impeccable assessment, and recognising the significance of key signs and symptoms.

End of Life Care: this focuses on the child and family in the last days of life, exploring definitions in end of life care, diagnosing dying and how it informs a plan of care. The management of common symptom at end of life are explored.

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 & Children’s Palliative / Complex Care) programmes.

Target Market 
All registered general, intellectual disability, public health, children’s nurses and midwives 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 / complex needs. Students must also complete a placement in a paediatric palliative care / complex care setting. Placement length will be based on individual students learning needs.

For further details contact:

Mari Moran (Mornings: Wednesday - Friday)

School of Nursing & Midwifery 
NUI Galway