6J: Improvisation in Pediatric Palliative Care: Using Music as a Metaphor

Ted Bowman, MDiv; Dannell Shu, Hilary Fredenberg, MA, MT-BC, Allison Miller, RN

Pediatric palliative care is both initiating and responsive. At its best, families and providers “sing” together. It may not always be in unison; verses may vary; improvisations happen; requiring dexterity by all. But when done well, “music” of caring can be heard, sustained and applauded. In this interdisciplinary session, participants will experience an “ensemble” of a musician, parent, and medical provider discuss improvisations when faced with an adult or child with a limiting or life- threatening condition. Palliative care principles will be emphasized.

By the end of the session, learners will be able to:

  • Describe ways to enhance comfort and confidence when faced with a need to improvise in the care of a child or adult
  • Name 3 or more implications for “team/ensemble” work when improvising in care
  • Write a plan of uses of the session for one’s work