Caring for Pediatric Patients’ Families at the End of Life: Nurses Can Make a Difference

Author(s): Reynolds Melissa R

Contact Hours 1.20

CERP B 1.20

Expires Nov 30, 2023

Topics: Family-Centered Care, Palliative/End-of-life Care

Level: All

Population: Pediatric

Role: Educator, Staff, Manager

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

Added to Collection

Activity Summary

Required reading for all learners: Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes

Nurses may experience anxiety and feel ill-prepared to provide physical, psychosocial, spiritual and culturally sensitive care for families at the end of their child’s life. A case study illustrates the challenges nurses face in caring for families who hold onto hope despite the grave prognosis and experience this life-altering event. This session explores the current evidence related to the benefits of early introduction of palliative care, the role of parental hope and families’ expressed needs and perceptions of what they found helpful during and after their child’s death. Practical strategies are presented for effectively communicating with and addressing the families’ hopes and needs as well as incorporating palliative care principles throughout the end-of-life experience. Finally, a bereavement program designed to facilitate lasting communication with grieving families is explored. Participants leave with practical approaches to implement a similar program at their institution.


  • Identify the hallmarks of effective communication with families and describe common phrases to avoid in end-of-life conversations.
  • Analyze practical approaches for addressing hope and providing compassionate care that respect families’ wishes and attend to their needs.
  • Employ strategies designed to facilitate lasting communication with families following their child’s death.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity, read Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes, and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider number CEP 1036, for 1.20 contact hours.

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing education only and does not imply AACN, ANCC, or CBRN approval or endorsement of any commercial products discussed or displayed in conjunction with this educational activity.


Any relevant relationship between an ineligible company and an individual with the ability to influence clinical content will be identified by the Nurse Planner within the activity. Any relevant relationship between an ineligible company and an individual with the ability to influence clinical content has been mitigated.

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.

Refund Policy

Continuing Education Activities are nonrefundable.