Dr. Faulkner begins the interview by describing her early career experiences and how those shaped her journey into pediatric palliative care. She attributes a lot the success of her early career to her "nurturing environment" of like-minded clinicians. She then describes some of her experiences being a part of an early practice to make death a more natural and less isolated experience for the patient and family. Dr. Faulkner then how she helped to evolve end of life care to become more inclusive for families, while also supporting improved communications between providers and family decision makers. Dr. Faulkner became involved with Children's Hospice International and worked to develop programming for home-based care and natural death without aggressive curative treatments at end of life. As Dr. Faulkner became more involved with hospice programming, she helped to develop best practices at the intersection of pediatrics and end of life care, and she also helped to integrate family support and family care into the health care plans of pediatric providers. Dr. Faulkner met some barriers such as providers not prescribing meaningful doses of pain and symptom management medicines to pediatrics as well as general lack of training of hospice staff in how to care for dying children. Dr. Faulkner concludes the interview by describing some of the successes she has seen over her career in the care of sick children and her vision for providers to work together to follow family care plans and provide sophisticated home care services if that is what the family wants.
Pediatric Palliative Care Oral History Project
Bernard Becker Medical Library, Washington University in St. Louis
"Kathleen Faulkner Oral History." (2019). OH154-S10-i01, Bernard Becker Medical Library, Washington University in St. Louis.