Certificate in Clinical Pediatric Palliative Care
The Certificate in Clinical Pediatric Palliative Care is a self-paced online program that delivers in-depth, evidence-based clinical skills, and strategies for pediatric specialists, or hospice, palliative care, and home health professionals, who want to learn effective strategies in caring for infants, children, teens, and young adults with serious or terminal illness, and their families.
Serious or life-limiting illness in an infant, child, teen, or young adult can be devastating for the patient, family, and caregivers. In many cases, curative or life-extending treatment can last for years, along with the need for high-quality palliative care designed to manage symptoms and ease suffering through every stage of illness.
This curriculum builds the skills needed to accurately assess and address the physical, emotional, and psychosocial suffering of seriously ill pediatric patients and their families. It focuses on key topics and domains of care that require an extra level of support for pediatric populations including communication, assessing and managing pain and other distressing symptoms, easing suffering, care delivery, enhancing team function, and resolving ethical issues.
Have a team to train? We offer special group pricing.
Delivered through an engaging, interactive learning management system that reinforces understanding and retention, this curriculum features a robust 66 CE hours of self-paced courses centered on evidence-based strategies in pediatric palliative care.
Introduction to Pediatric Palliative Care
This course provides a brief overview of how to approach pediatric palliative care. Topics include acknowledging and recognizing personal biases and fears about caring for seriously ill children, teens, or young adults; how to develop broader self-awareness and cultural humility, which are key to engaging diverse families; common concerns about using medications in children; and how to understand a child’s external support systems.
Communication Skills for Pediatric Patients and Family Support
Communicating with seriously ill pediatric patients and their families requires special skills. This course examines how to apply active listening techniques and read nonverbal communication cues in children, teens, and young adults; how to elicit information from family members and children while respecting differences in culture and belief systems; how to support families in distress; and how to use the SPIKES communication protocol.
This course prepares community-based palliative care providers for a successful home visit with young patients and their families. It covers how to determine the right time for the visit and who should be present; how to help care for other children who may be present; how to establish trust and effectively communicate with seriously ill children, teens, and young adults; how to interact with other siblings; and how to have difficult conversations with parents.
Some of the most challenging aspects of communication in pediatric palliative care are examined in this course, including how families make decisions; how the developmental stage of a child impacts decision making; what happens when families disagree; navigating the “conspiracy of silence”; how to identify and support complex families; how to deal with conflict; and moral issues. Conflict with insurance payers and other providers is also included.
Pediatric Pain and Symptom Assessment and Management
This course covers how to assess pain in pediatric patients, from newborns to young adults. It includes an in-depth review of normal growth and developmental milestones in infants, children, and adolescents; common childhood illnesses; pain management medications and how to determine appropriate dosing as well as routes of administration; and nonpharmacological approaches to pain management.
Building on the Basic course, this course provides clinical strategies for assessing and managing pain in pediatric palliative care patients, including how to apply assessment tools to children with serious illness; protocols for pediatric medication management and dosing guidelines; non-pharmacological interventions; and pain-management challenges with functionally impaired children.
Expanding on the Basic and Foundational courses, this course covers topics such as dosing guidelines to manage complex pain; “titrating to comfort” to manage difficult symptoms; the role of medical marijuana; caring for an infant; assessing and treating pain in neurologically complex patients; recognizing and responding to psychosocial and spiritual distress; trauma-informed care; and palliative sedation.
Concepts in Easing Suffering and Promoting Healing for Pediatric Patients
This course offers an overview of how best to support the emotional and spiritual needs of pediatric patients approaching end of life and their families. Modules cover grief and bereavement support for family and caregivers; support for siblings; and practices to ease suffering, including legacy-making and creating keepsakes.
This course prepares you to be present and acknowledge suffering; recognize types of suffering; assess anticipatory grief; support parents in talking with their children; assess spiritual suffering; support families with conflicting beliefs; find purpose and create meaning; empower parents and families for quality-of-life decisions; and provide bereavement support.
This course explores challenging areas of pediatric palliative care practice including working within the context of ongoing suffering (e.g., transference and countertransference); reconciling differences of opinion in families; and supporting the unique needs of stepparents, LGBTQ parents, single parents, foster parents, grandparents, and grandparents in a parenting role; and more.
Pediatric Care Delivery
The use of medical devices is an important issue in providing care for children with serious illness. This course reviews some of the most common medical devices used in children in the home setting: feeding tubes, central venous catheters, and respiratory support devices.
This course reviews concurrent hospice care for children, including how to identify patients and families who are eligible; common trajectories of serious illnesses in pediatric patients; medical devices and how they differ for children vs. adults; medications and what is covered; care coordination among providers and settings; and the transition from pediatric care to adult healthcare.
In this course, you will learn to identify key clinical features of some of the more common complex conditions seen in pediatric hospice and palliative care; understand how to help parents advocate for their child while recognizing the limits of medical interventions; and identify medical and psychosocial resources for families of children with rare/complicated diagnoses.
Pediatric Team Support
This course discusses how caring for pediatric patients can change the dynamics of a palliative care team, and how to protect the health, well-being, and effectiveness of the team. Topics covered include the importance of the transdisciplinary approach; the need to nurture the team and promote self-care; how to identify signs of compassion fatigue; and more.
Pediatric Ethical Principles and Challenges
This course explores ethical principles and common concerns providers may encounter in pediatric hospice and palliative care including withholding food and withdrawing medication; palliative sedation; autonomy of a child; requests for non-beneficial treatment; and requests for expedited dying by patients or parents.
This in-depth curriculum was developed by expert clinicians in pediatric palliative care from leading children’s hospitals and hospice programs, with support from:
- Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition/Coalition for Compassionate Care of California
- Providence TrinityCare Hospice and Trinity KidsCare
Kimberly Bower, MD, FAAHPM, HMDC, former Chief of Palliative Medicine at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and current Medical Director of Blue Shield of California Promise Plan
Joan “Jody” Ramer Chrastek, RN, DNP, FPCN, the PACCT (Pediatric Advanced Complex Care Team) coordinator for Fairview Home Care and Hospice, Minneapolis, MN
Michelle Goldbach, CNP, MHA, RN, CHPN, Director of Palliative Care and Pediatrics at Elizabeth Hospice in San Diego County, CA
Denise Hess, MA, MDiv, Chaplain at Providence St. Joseph Health and Executive Director of the Supportive Care Coalition
Glen Komatsu, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Providence TrinityCare Hospice and Regional Palliative Care
Debra Lotstein, MD, MPH, Director of the Division of Comfort and Palliative Care at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Susan Montgomery, RN, BSN, MA, a medical writer whose clinical career as a registered nurse included caring for children and adults in both critical care and hospice. She is the former Director of Interdisciplinary Practice at Suncoast Hospice.
Therese Trebaol, DBioethics, clinical ethics consultation specialist; creator and manager of the palliative care program at Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles; past interim Director of Bioethics at Kaiser Permanente in Woodland Hills
Completion and Refunds
In order to complete this course and obtain a certificate, you must view the course in its entirety, correctly answer all case studies and quiz/test questions (as appropriate) and complete the evaluation. You will have 90 days to access this course from the date of purchase. No refunds are given for self-paced courses.