From time to time, you will encounter very taxing clinical situations that demand reflection, patience and flexibility. Listen carefully to the patients, families and children you serve. Observe the situation, weigh the pertinent variables, and trust you’ll come to a workable resolution.
Try not to get too attached to a course of action. Palliative care calls can be very complex. If decisions don’t yield desired outcomes, new approaches may be needed.
Intervention in a palliative care call is a process of shared decision making. You have to balance collaboration, negotiation, and reality. Reaching a realistic decision may take time.
It is not always possible to avoid disagreement. Sometimes the goal is not to avoid disagreement but to find a way through it. Other times the goal is to repair a breakdown in communication or trust.
Be mindful of inadvertently shaming the family by assuming a power position or telling them what is best for them. If they feel personally insufficient or foolish it will bring about defensiveness or disengagement. Respect the family's authority and they will respect yours.
Keep in mind that it means a great deal to families that you are trying and that you care.