Focusing in on the communication of complex care

It is exciting to hear that nursing specialist Karen LeGrow spent several days this past week attending an Advanced Practitioners Forum - Family Centered Care at Lucille Packard's Children's Hospital. Karen LeGrow is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Critical Care Unit, the Project Director of the Population Health Sciences Research Institute and a Cross - Appointment to Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. Karen's current research has a great deal of relevance to our communication struggle in CCCU over almost 5 weeks; here is a summary of the research Problem/Issue: Advances in medical technology have substantially altered the life-death trajectory for critically ill children and their families. Many children with pre-existing chronic conditions are experiencing a longer life expectancy. As a result, increasing numbers of children dependent upon technology require frequent and prolonged periods of hospitalization for increasingly complex health problems. Parents are often forced to make difficult and complex decisions regarding their children’s care under changing conditions in a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), at a time when high levels of stress, grief, and fatigue lead to diminished cognitive functioning and therefore threaten optimum decision-making. Communication problems and conflict between families and the health care team regarding the child’s care have been identified as social factors contributing to delays in both treatment and decision making, thereby resulting in unnecessarily prolonged intensive care unit stays for children with complex chronic conditions. More fellowship information

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