What to Expect at Your First Appointment at Pediatric Palliative Care
Pediatric palliative care teams at Cincinnati Children’s provide compassionate support and comfort for your family when your child is facing a complex medical condition or incurable illness. We strive to improve your child’s quality of life and minimize suffering related to their condition or treatment.
Your child’s care team includes specially trained palliative care physicians, social workers, nurse practitioners, and a nurse coordinator who work together to care for your family. Our team works closely with your child’s other physicians to offer integrated care for their physical, mental and emotional health.
Your child can receive palliative care while receiving curative treatments, such as chemotherapy, or while in hospice care. The palliative care team does not treat your child’s condition but can help manage pain or symptoms they have.
We also work closely with chaplains, music therapists, art therapists, child life specialists and others to provide comprehensive support for your child. We can help your family work through complex emotions related to your child’s illness and assist you in making hard decisions about your child’s care.
When your child is facing a difficult diagnosis, you can rely on our palliative care team for the extra support your family needs. Learn more about how we improve the day-to-day lives of children with serious health conditions.
Making an Appointment at the Pediatric Palliative Care
Your child can begin palliative care at any time in their treatment. We recommend you begin care early in your child’s care.
Our compassionate palliative care providers see patients at the hospital and at outpatient clinics. If your child is at a Cincinnati Children’s hospital, their physician can refer them to our services. We will come to your child’s bedside for the appointment.
If your child is at home, you can ask your child’s doctor for a referral to our care. Once your doctor has made a referral, you can contact us to make an appointment at our clinic.
Preparing for Your Visit
Our physicians will need to review your child’s medical records to create a unique and effective palliative care plan for your child.
We also ask that you, your child and your family reflect on your child’s care goals. We want to ensure that your child’s care plan addresses the most important issues to them, whether they need help managing pain or need more opportunities for play and socialization.
If your child is already a patient at Cincinnati Children’s, our doctors will have access to their records.
If your child is not a patient at Cincinnati Children’s, we will work with your child’s providers to get their medical information.
On the Day of Your Visit at Pediatric Palliative Care
Before Your Appointment
We ask that you arrive 15 minutes before your appointment. Our team will see your child at the Burnet campus, which is a large facility. Please be sure to leave plenty of time for parking and walking to your child’s appointment.
Please contact us if you are running late for your appointment.
At Your Appointment
During your appointment, our palliative care team will talk with you and your child about symptoms and/or side effects from treatment that are affecting their quality of life. Together, we can come up with a plan to care for these issues that doesn’t interfere with their other treatments.
Your child’s care plan may include:
- Medicines to control pain or symptoms
- Assistance with medical decision making that align with overall goals for your child’s care / quality of life.
- Referrals for other interdisciplinary services such as:
- Supportive therapies such as physical therapy or occupational therapy
- Relaxation techniques or meditation
- Art and music therapies
- Family and individual counseling
- Play therapy
- Spiritual care
After Your Visit at Pediatric Palliative Care
If you have any questions between appointments or your child’s symptoms change, we encourage you to call our office.