NOEP recently participated in the International Palliative Care Network Conference, which went live in October, and is still going strong through the month of December. You can register for free, and virtually “attend” this conference here. Participants from all over the world have come together to discuss current research on palliative and end of life care.
NOEP’s poster, End of Life Nursing Education and Implications for Practice, summarizes the need for education on end of life care found in our 2009 biannual needs assessment. It also describes our online podcast, The Nurse’s Role in End of Life Care, and our evaluation of the (now expired for CE) course.
NOEP’s online podcast significantly increased nurses’ self-assessed end of life knowledge, including the similarities and differences between hospice and palliative care, and the multiple roles of the nurse in end of life care, which are noted below.
Role of the Nurse in End of Life Care:
- Reliable support
- Comforter in pain and symptom management
- Knowledgeable resource in ethical discernment, disclosure, and decision making
- Patient advocate
- Communicator and mediator
- Support in loss and grief
- Companion in the final hours
Barriers to quality care at the end of life include the following:
- Failure to acknowledge limits of medicine
- Lack of adequate training
- Denial of death
- Rules/regulations (insurance coverage, controlled substance regulation)
- Poor understanding of hospice and palliative care
Every nurse has some experience with patients and families at the end of life. Often times, these experiences are the most challenging. The more knowledgeable we are about this topic, the more able we are to educate our patients and provide them with the best possible experience in the terminal stages of life.
For an updated overview on this important topic, keep an eye out for NOEP’s new course Competence in Cancer Care: End of Life Care and Survivorship, coming soon!