Your Palliative Care Support Team
PACT includes individuals with specialty training in pediatric palliative care, including a physician, nurse practitioner, and social workers. We work alongside your child's treatment team to improve the quality of life of your family. We may also connect your family with other specialists who can help provide support, such as child life specialists, chaplains, or music therapists.
What We Can Do for You
A consultation with PACT typically begins with a conversation to assess the goals and preferences of your child and your family. We may ask questions such as, "What is a good day or a hard day? What makes your child laugh? What are your goals for your child? What are you hoping for?" We may also ask your child about his or her fears, concerns, and hopes.
With the answers to such questions in hand and a better understanding of the goals of your child and family, our team puts together a customized plan of care to meet your family's needs. PACT partners with other hospital-based services as well as with resources in your community and other facilities to help provide seamless care for your child and your family.
Preparing for a PACT Consultation
Preparing for your meeting with PACT can help you better understand your goals, hopes, and concerns regarding your child's illness and treatment. Children are often concerned about how their illness will affect their ability to go to school, see their friends, and play sports — or just play outside. For parents, they may want the same things for their children, as well as a life free of discomfort and one that enables them to participate in family activities.
While your child is receiving treatment, you may be presented with several options about care, including numerous types of therapy — each with its own risks and benefits. It is important to think about how that therapy will affect your child's quality of life, and for how long. These are issues you can discuss with our team.
Here are some questions you can think about and discuss with your child and your family before your PACT consultation:
- When it comes to my child's quality of life, what is most important?
- How will the treatment affect my child's quality of life?
- How will the treatment affect my child's prognosis, and what might happen without the treatment?
- What will it be like for my child and my family to go through this therapy?
- Could this treatment make my child feel better or worse, and if so, for how long?
- Are there any other available treatment approaches that are as effective, but have different effects on quality of life?