Presenting what we learn from children and families
Stephen Parkinson and I presented at the Paediatric Society Conference held in Hamilton on 25th November. We presented – ‘Head & Heart: Psychological and Spiritual Issues for Children – the Quality of Being with Seriously Ill Children’. Psychological and spiritual aspects of care are often given lip service but not understood. This was explored within the presentation with the use of case studies to highlight the needs of children when living with a life-threatening illness.
We then presented at the Dunedin Psycho-Oncology conference on 27th November, the topic being – ‘Transcending Suffering: the Survival of the Family’. Families living with a child with cancer have ongoing adaptions shifting focus from wellness to the intense care of illness and treatment. The quality of care can be pivotal to enhancing or hindering the process of survival and making meaning of their situation as a family. The role of the health professional in supporting children and families was explored in how to help alleviate suffering and enhance meaning for the survival of the family.
Children, young people and their families continue to teach us, inspire us and guide us in how to provide care that meets their needs. Our responsibility is to share this with other health providers so that best practice is achieved.