Meeting the physical, emotional, and psychosocial need of a dying child is important to support the totally dependent child and grieving family in experiencing the best quality of life possible. The child’s terminal illness and care can affect the whole family, hence, the nurse initial role is to establish rapport in order to build and develop effective communication that assists in alleviating unnecessary fears and anxiety about impending death and supporting anticipatory grieving.
Nursing Care Plans
Nursing care plan for a dying child involves providing substantial and appropriate age-related information about death and dying to allay anxiety, providing optimal pain relief through pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods, assisting the child to move through the stages of awareness and acceptance, and helping the family cope through the stages of grieving.
- Anticipatory Grieving
May be related to
- Potential loss of a child
Possibly evidenced by
- Expression of distress at the potential loss of the child
- Denial of loss
- Guilt, anger, sorrow
- Choked feelings
- Change in need fulfillment
- Crying, self-blame, shock, and disbelief
- Loss of hope and depression
- Avoidance of ill child
- Child, parents, and family will be able to verbalize feelings about their grief in a culturally relevant manner.
|Assess stage of the grief process,|
difficulties encountered, sentiments about terminal nature of the illness and potential loss of the child.
|Provides information about the need for grieving, which differs with individual members of a family when child’s death is anticipated.|
|Reassure child, parents, and family that|
grieving is normal.
|Promotes understanding of grief reaction and may enhance coping abilities.|
|Encourage parents and family members to stay with the child as much as they feel and need to, and assist them to understand the child’s behavior and needs.||Promotes feeling that they are helping and supporting their child.|
|Provide opportunities for the family to vent feelings and respond to the child based on the grieving stage.||Promotes progression through grieving and ability to display desires for themselves and their child.|
|Provide emotional and spiritual comfort in an accepting environment, and limit discussions that promote guilt or anger.||Provides for an emotional need of parents and family and helps them to adjust to dying child without adding stressors that|
are difficult to resolve.
|Assist child and family in recognizing and|
using effective coping mechanisms and
in an understanding situation over which they have no control.
|Promotes effective coping that is positive for the family.|
|Provide privacy when needed, while being available to the family.||Promotes a helping relationship with the family.|
|Encourage parents to vent their|
thoughts and feelings about the possible death of their child; to share memories of their child’s life; to create memories; to take family pictures, and create a memory box of their child’s memory.
|Promotes parent coping, acceptance of grief process, and may lessen the sense of guilt.|
|Encourage parents to be involved with child’s care (i.e., treatment, pain control).||Avoids feelings of powerlessness and helplessness.|
|Teach parents about the child’s developmental understanding of death; educate and encourage parents to employ children’s books to help in a discussion about the child’s understanding/fears of death.||Promotes family communication; promotes family coping abilities.|
|Arrange for clergy, social services, hospice care, or return to home for dying|
as appropriate; support choices made by the family.
|Provides for and assists with alternative care and own decisions for that care.|
|Inform (child, if appropriate) parents and family of stages of grieving and acceptable behaviors during the grief process.||Promotes understanding of feeling and behaviors exhibited by the grieving process.|
|Provide information about child’s condition, including the appearance of the child, and changes to expect.||Enables parents to track the course of terminal condition and change to expect.|
|Encourage parents participation in the care and in those they will carry out if the child is taken home to die; advise resources to reach for assistance.||Allows parents involvement in child’s care and sharing their sadness with the child.|
|Allow the family to inquire questions and|
to be truthful about their feelings and acceptance of information about death and dying.
|Promotes honest and practical view of the situation to enhance grieving.|
|Teach family to maintain own needs and|
health during this difficult time.
|Allows family to better adjust with child’s needs if own needs are fulfilled since the terminal period may be prolonged.|
Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.
- Nursing Care Plans: Nursing Diagnosis and Intervention (10th Edition)
An awesome book to help you create and customize effective nursing care plans. We highly recommend this book for its completeness and ease of use.
- Nurse’s Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions and Rationales
A quick-reference tool to easily select the appropriate nursing diagnosis to plan your patient’s care effectively.
- NANDA International Nursing Diagnoses: Definitions & Classification, 2021-2023 (12th Edition)
The official and definitive guide to nursing diagnoses as reviewed and approved by the NANDA-I. This book focuses on the nursing diagnostic labels, their defining characteristics, and risk factors – this does not include nursing interventions and rationales.
- Nursing Diagnosis Handbook, 12th Edition Revised Reprint with 2021-2023 NANDA-I® Updates
Another great nursing care plan resource that is updated to include the recent NANDA-I updates.
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5(TM))
Useful for creating nursing care plans related to mental health and psychiatric nursing.
- Ulrich & Canale’s Nursing Care Planning Guides, 8th Edition
Claims to have the most in-depth care plans of any nursing care planning book. Includes 31 detailed nursing diagnosis care plans and 63 disease/disorder care plans.
- Maternal Newborn Nursing Care Plans (3rd Edition)
If you’re looking for specific care plans related to maternal and newborn nursing care, this book is for you.
- Nursing Diagnosis Manual: Planning, Individualizing, and Documenting Client Care (7th Edition)
An easy-to-use nursing care plan book that is updated with the latest diagnosis from NANDA-I 2021-2023.
- All-in-One Nursing Care Planning Resource: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Maternity, and Psychiatric-Mental Health (5th Edition)
Definitely an all-in-one resources for nursing care planning. It has over 100 care plans for different nursing topics.
Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:
- Nursing Care Plans (NCP): Ultimate Guide and Database
Over 150+ nursing care plans for different diseases and conditions. Includes our easy-to-follow guide on how to create nursing care plans from scratch.
- Nursing Diagnosis Guide and List: All You Need to Know to Master Diagnosing
Our comprehensive guide on how to create and write diagnostic labels. Includes detailed nursing care plan guides for common nursing diagnostic labels.
Other nursing care plans for pediatric conditions and diseases:
- Acute Glomerulonephritis | 4 Care Plans
- Acute Rheumatic Fever | 4 Care Plans
- Apnea | 4 Care Plans
- Brain Tumor | 3 Care Plans
- Bronchiolitis | 5 Care Plans
- Cardiac Catheterization | 4 Care Plans
- Cerebral Palsy | 7 Care Plans
- Child Abuse | 4 Care Plans
- Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate | 6 Care Plans
- Congenital Heart Disease | 5 Care Plans
- Congenital Hip Dysplasia | 4 Care Plans
- Croup Syndrome | 5 Care Plans
- Cryptorchidism (Undescended Testes) | 3 Care Plans
- Cystic Fibrosis | 5 Care Plans
- Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 (Juvenile Diabetes) | 4 Care Plans
- Dying Child | 4 Care Plans
- Epiglottitis | 5 Care Plans
- Febrile Seizure | 4 Care Plans
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome | 6 Care Plans
- Hospitalized Child | 5 Care Plans
- Hydrocephalus | 5 Care Plans
- Hypospadias and Epispadias | 4 Care Plans
- Intussusception | 3 Care Plans
- Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis | 4 Care Plans
- Kawasaki Disease | 6 Care Plans
- Meningitis | 7 Care Plans
- Nephrotic Syndrome | 5 Care Plans
- Osteogenic Sarcoma (Osteosarcoma) | 4 Care Plans
- Otitis Media | 4 Care Plans
- Scoliosis | 4 Care Plans
- Spina Bifida | 7 Care Plans
- Tonsillitis and Adenoiditis | 4 Care Plans
- Umbilical and Inguinal Hernia | 4 Care Plans
- Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR) | 5 Care Plans
- Wilms Tumor (Nephroblastoma) | 4 Care Plans