Monday, April 13, 2009

Pediatric hospice

I just found out that I'm going to be the social worker for a 13 yo cancer patient being admitted to our program this afternoon. I originally wanted to work with pediatric oncology patients when I decided to become a social worker. Then when I started working in hospice, I thought I might specialize in pediatric hospice, if given the opportunity. While I was doing my fieldwork placement I had a 19 yo former gangbanger with HIV but that is the youngest patient I've ever worked with. Less than 1% of all terminally ill children come on to hospice and my hospice does not actively seek pediatric cases. Even though the interest in working with children has never gone away (and hence the reason for my heavy involvement with our child and teen bereavement program), I figured it wasn't meant to be. Already the on-call nurses are asking me for resources and advice; tension is high over caring for someone so young. I can only hope that I'm ready for the task at hand.

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