Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Date Information

May 2014

Department

School of Nursing

First Advisor

Robin Leger

Abstract

Background: The United States is home to approximately 13,000 Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (PNP), professionals whom are deemed capable of providing care to the growing number of children with chronic illnesses (Dunham, Freed, Lamard, Loveland-Cherry, Martyn, 2010). Some 2,000 children are affected by brain tumors each year and are often cared for by a PNP. They can suffer from affected Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) factors or sequela that the PNP is responsible for addressing.

Objective: To gain insight into the PNP’s role in caring for the pediatric patient with a brain tumor and observe how she addressed HRQOL factors and long-term sequela the child is faced with.

Methods: An observational descriptive study was conducted. A convenience sample of six children undergoing treatment in clinic and nine children in remission at a support group were observed, specifically appraising the PNP’s role in caring for them.

Results: Children seen in both the clinic and the support group experience HRQOL factors, and the PNP addressed them in several different ways. She assessed the children’s signs and symptoms, made plans of care, identified referrals needed, and made them feel as though they had were a part of a group with hope for the future.

Conclusion: The PNP plays a pivotal role in caring for children with brain tumors through continuity of care; they are one of the first people to meet the patient and family members, and are responsible to ensure their comfort. PNPs also play the vital role of assessing the patient and identifying the child and family needs, any abnormalities, as well as addressing sequela. Finally, in support group, the PNP is a facilitator for the children’s peer support, reflection on their experiences and promotes hope for their future.

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