At McMaster Children's Hospital, we are great believers in kids being healthy.
Through the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Programme, we encourage patients to aim for feeling really well — rather than settling for "so so."
We are proud to be able to offer a "menu" of treatment options that can be tailored to each patient, and provide an opportunity for much better quality of life.
We encourage our patients to view life as a team sport that involves a "home team" (parents, family, friends) and "coaching staff" (doctors, nurses, dietitians, child life specialists, and social workers). Together we form an alliance to achieve the best possible results and quality of life.
Dr. Robert Issenman and the Pediatric IBD Team, McMaster Children's Hospital
The "front line" staff involved in the pediatric IBD clinic have a special interest and expertise in children and youth with IBD. Team members include:
Experience has clearly shown that communication between all team members (the "home team" and the "coaching staff") is key to the success of our program and to the health of our patients. To make sure that patient care is the best that it can be, the Nurse Coordinator acts as the "team captain" and the link between patients, families, and other programme staff.
The Nurse Coordinator:
Nutrition is especially important to growing children and teens.
To ensure that our patients eat foods they like and meet their body's nutritional needs, the clinic dietitian works with our patients and their families.
Nutritional issues for IBD patients are discussed in the nutrition section.
Child Life Specialists work with our younger patients, as well as with children and teens who are having a difficult time coping with their illness.
A Child Life Specialist provides psychosocial care to children and youth by helping them:
A Child Life Specialist can, as needed:
Having a child or teen diagnosed with IBD can be a stressful and challenging experience for the whole family.
Social workers help patients and their families cope with the practical and emotional concerns that accompany this diagnosis. Social workers play an important role in the IBD clinic and believe in building on the strengths of each patient and family. They work with the rest of the IBD team to ensure that the patient and family reach their full potential.
Our clinic social workers get to meet most patients and families, and take the time needed to find out more about each patient, about what concerns them, and what matters most to them. Although this information can be kept private, if the patient wishes, sharing their worries with others may be a big step in patients getting better.
In addition to being great listeners, social workers are also great counsellors and problem solvers. They can help identify and develop ways to cope with difficulties, and to maintain healthy supportive relationships. They can also identify resources in the community, and provide support with education or school-related issues.
As with all members of the IBD team, our social workers are sometimes involved in research projects aimed at improving the quality of life for all our young patients.