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Dedicated support systems for young patients
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Pediatric cancers

Dedicated support systems for young patients

The DRAK'AJA device

Adolescents and Young Adults (AJA) aged 15 to 24 inclusive, require dedicated medical, psychological and socio-professional care. For almost a year, the Onconormandie network has offered health establishments in the former Lower Normandy a personalized system to best meet their needs for optimal care.

In transition between the world of childhood and that of adults, AYAs represent a specific population in terms of medical but also psychosocial care. Adolescents are in a phase of personality construction, empowerment from parents, and entry into sexual life. Young adults are building their professional lives or even their lives as a couple. Illness modifies this dynamic.

The Caen Normandy University Hospital will care for around fifty AYAs suffering from cancer in 2023. For almost a year, these patients have been able to benefit from the Regional Cancer Support System for Adolescents and Young Adults, the DRAK'AJA, funded by the OncoNormandie network. This regional system was initially opened in 2019 on a Rouen branch which is now being deployed in western Normandy.

A coordinator dedicated to the heart of the patient journey

An AJA coordinating nurse, in collaboration with the teams from the establishment's various oncology departments, offers personalized support to patients, allowing them to continue to develop despite the illness.

It makes care pathways more fluid and provides assistance to patients in managing their procedures. His role includes listening, helping, availability and support. In 2023, she supported nearly 60 young people – whether they were being diagnosed, sick or in remission.

At the heart of coordinating the patient journey, she liaises with the various stakeholders at Caen Normandy University Hospital and throughout Western Normandy. It assesses support care needs: psychologist, social worker, education, training, orientation, reintegration, adapted physical activity, sexuality, fertility, dietetics, addiction, sophrology, socio-beautician etc., facilitates contact with associations and contributes to the information of young patients.

The nurse provides personalized monitoring throughout the treatment and telephone and email availability is provided. Recently, a discussion group dedicated to AYAs accompanied by psychologists from the establishment was also set up to encourage discussions and strengthen the care offer.

The PON device

pediatric onco-hematology department of Caen Normandie University Hospital, keen to offer the best quality and continuity of care to children, offers via the OncoNormandie network, after the acute phase of the disease, to continue care and treatments. as close as possible to where the child lives, in a local health establishment or at home.

Since 2007, whenever possible and depending on the care to be provided, children cared for in the department can benefit from the Pediatric OncoNormandie (PON) system. This regional system has been deployed for more than a year on the Rouen branch.

Coordinate care as close as possible to home

Thanks to this specific and adapted organization, supported by the Normandy Regional Health Agency , children benefit from personalized and coordinated care by a dedicated childcare nurse, combining cutting-edge treatments, innovation and proximity.

The primary objective of the system is to organize the continuity of quality care as close as possible to the child's home between the Caen Normandy University Hospital, other health establishments in the western region ( CH Argentan , Alençon , Lisieux , Avranches- Granville , Cherbourg and Flers ), liberal professionals (treating doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, etc.), home hospitalization professionals ( HAD ) and medical and rehabilitation care in western Normandy and local rehabilitation centers (Bayeux, Flers , Hérouville Saint-Clair as well as in the link of joint care with the Rouen University Hospital ).

The nurse works in the pediatric onco-hematology department in close collaboration with the teams. She also collaborates with the Regional Pediatric Palliative Care Resource Team “the source” , a multidisciplinary team which integrates the palliative approach into the practice of all healthcare professionals faced with the end of life in pediatrics.

In collaboration with the service teacher, she also promotes the child's reintegration into their school environment. At the request of parents and/or teachers, they can intervene in the child's school to discuss their illness with their classmates.

Communication department of Caen Normandy University Hospital
CHU Caen Normandy

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