Emily Lagana

Nursing Care in a Pediatric Hospice in England


Emily Lagana will tell you that in the United Kingdom alone, there are 11 freestanding pediatric hospice houses but in the United States, there is only one. Her concern that the American health care system does not provide adequate client- and family- centered services to very ill children and their families compelled this nursing major to travel overseas to explore how to improve hospice care in her own country. With funds from an International Research Opportunities Program (IROP) grant, Lagana spent nine weeks working with the doctors, nurses, and patients of a pediatric hospice in England.

Her findings surpassed expectations. “I went there with the idea of studying specifically the nurses within the care team. However, I found that the team works so well in a truly interdisciplinary manner, that I studied the entire team because it was nearly impossible to single the nurses out.”

On return, Lagana presented her findings at the IROP Symposium and the UNH Undergraduate Research Conference, hoping to raise awareness about the new methods for serving children and their families. Following graduation, she plans to work as a nurse for a while, then continue on to graduate school. But, her plans don’t stop there. “After I complete graduate school, I plan to establish a pediatric hospital in the United States.”