Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How many hospital nurses understand palliative care?

 TO be fair, not many physicians do, either!
Nursing schools to teach new ways to cope with death and dyingCMAJ
The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing will test new ways to include more palliative care training in undergraduate nursing programs, after a survey of 91 nursing schools revealed many inadequately prepare graduates to deal with death and dying.

Do you think we need new ways, or are the old ones pretty good?
Be present.
Love them. Treat them like human beings, who lives have contributed to our world.
Look after their whole person: mind/body/spirit.
Answer questions. Anticipate needs.
Treat the whole family, not just the patient.

More People Choosing Hospice at Life's End [No wonder!]

A patient's hospice team develops a care plan that helps control pain and symptoms. The team also should:
  • Help the patient and family members deal with the emotional and spiritual aspects of dying.
  • Equip the patient's home with needed medical supplies and equipment.
  • Coach family members on caring for the person.
  • Provide quick-response care on an around-the-clock basis when pain or symptoms flare up.
  • Make bereavement care available to the patient's surviving family and friends.
How many hospital nurses can or do take the time for such?

Further reading:

Part I: Preparing for the inevitable (
Part II: Advance directives: Obstacles in preparing for the worst ( 
Part III: End-of-life planning framework calls for fewer checklists, more conversation ( 
Part IV: Tools help patients tackle tough choices for end-of-life care
Part V: National home care standards urged ( 
Part VI: Access to palliative care varies widely across Canada ( 
Part VII: Framework urges physicians to proceed with caution on palliative sedation (
Part VIII: Pocket-sized help for people with dementia (

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