Physician resilience in the face of grief and loss helps sustain and strengthen therapeutic relationships between patients, families and health care providers while helping health care providers maintain the values of their profession. The Resilience in the Face of Grief and Loss curriculum provides opportunities to reflect and gain critical skills in order to enhance one’s resilience as a pediatric health care provider.
Part A: Understanding Grief and Loss in Children and Their Families
Introduces learners to grief and loss reactions in children, parents, and siblings, and offers strategies to help them deal with their intense emotions. In this context, learners are also introduced to ways to approach discussions about religious or spiritual beliefs and values that may shape how families seek and use healthcare throughout life, including at the end of life. This section ends with a discussion of ethical issues in end-of-life decision making and strategies for talking with families about goals of care.
Part A: Key References
Part B: Communicating with Families about Severe and Terminal Illness in their Children
Teaches about talking with families and children under challenging situations which include addressing circumstances of sharing bad news, disclosure of a life-altering diagnosis, medical error, goals of care or death and dying. It includes didactic components, case-based learning, and role plays to help learners practice communicating with families. Part B ends with cases for discussion and practice.
Part B: Key References
Part C: Managing Emotions after Challenging Patient Care Experiences
Shifts focus from the patient and family to the pediatric health care provider. This section addresses the provider's experience of grief and loss when faced with stressful situations. The section presents adaptive behaviors for facing grief and uncertainty, reaching closure, and coping with a patient's death. A section is included on teaching more clinically advanced learners to lead a debriefing session after a patient's death or a medical error. In addition to didactic discussions and slides, case examples are provided to facilitate practice and reflection.
Managing Emotions after Difficult Patient Care Experiences
C.1. Discussion Guide
Part C: Key References
Part D: Introduction to Personal Wellness
Focused on the health care provider's need to maintain his/her own health and wellness, in order to sustain a life of service to others, sometimes under duress. This section addresses cognitive, occupational, emotional, interpersonal, spiritual and self-care strategies that can enhance personal resilience under both happy and stressful circumstances.
Part D: Key References
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Learn about the AAP Section on Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
American Academy of Pediatrics