Pediatric Palliative Care Fellowship Curriculum

Curriculum

Clinical experience will include opportunities to consult on and manage patients in a variety of settings. Pediatric palliative care fellows will be given the opportunity to provide ongoing care with responsibility for decision-making and management, as well as consultative care for patients in all settings.

This will foster the acquisition of assessment and management skills necessary for a specialist's evaluation and care of patients with complex palliative care needs. Fellows will see at least 100 new patients over the course of the year, and will follow at least half of these patients longitudinally across all settings.

Our program includes a didactic component focused on the epidemiology and pathophysiology of progressive chronic illnesses in pediatric patients, the management of these diseases in all settings, and the multiple issues associated with death and dying.

Attention will be directed to the physical, behavioral, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of illness. Communication skills and team building will be emphasized. All issues routinely considered by an interdisciplinary team, such as socioeconomic factors, cultural and ethical diversity, religious background, and ethical and legal implications of practice decisions will be addressed. 

Issues of regulatory compliance and quality improvement as applied to each setting will also be covered. An awareness of the potential for personal and family growth at the time of terminal illness will be part of the educational program. 

Our program encourages and facilitates professional self-care. Basic concepts of program management, financing for different care settings, and public policy/advocacy will also be addressed. 

Appropriate supervision and evaluation of the fellow will be provided during all educational experiences.

Inpatient Setting

Hospice/Home Care

Over the course of one year, the hospice/home care program will comprise at least 15% of the fellow's time. Time spent with a home health agency may make up a portion of the home hospice time.

 Long-Term Care

Outpatient/Ambulatory Care

Electives

Fellows may spend at least one month of elective in a clinically relevant field, including experiences in ethics consultations, geriatric medicine, and radiation oncology, pulmonary, cardiology or neurology clinics, etc.

Conferences

Fellows participate as both learners and teachers in conferences or seminars/workshops in palliative medicine to augment the clinical experience, foster interaction and develop skills in interpreting medical literature.
As fellows progress through their training, opportunities will arise to teach staff such as nurses, allied health professionals, medical students and/or other residents.

Research and Quality Improvement Program

Because palliative care research spans a broad spectrum, from molecular biology to health and social policy, the research capabilities and resources of the faculty intensively involved in palliative medicine education may not meet the needs of all fellows. Therefore, working relationships with faculty from other relevant disciplines are important, and some may be selected as research mentors for trainees. However, the primary responsibility for the fellow will reside with the palliative medicine program director. Equally, learning the skills necessary to promote institutional change that results in improved palliative care delivery is crucial for the palliative care trainee.

We strongly encourage fellows to complete a research project or quality improvement project during the 1-year training program. We also encourage fellows to participate in ongoing research and/or to develop an independent research project in some aspect of clinical care or education related to palliative care.

Specific Responsibilities

The fellow will be responsible for inpatient coverage of palliative care patients at Akron Children's Hospital, in partnership with the palliative care team. The fellow will make home visits to see patients in the palliative care program, and therefore must have personal transportation and car insurance coverage. The fellow will be expected to take phone calls from home on a rotating basis, with the division director available as backup when needed. 

Fellows will be expected to participate in:

Fellows will be required to teach in:


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