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Is Palliative Care Education Only for Hospice Nurses
8/13/2012
Absolutely Not! As the American population ages, nursing homes are increasingly a setting for end-of-life care.
More than 1,000 people a day die in long-term care settings nationally and in some states, as many as one in three older adults die in nursing homes. By the year 2020, 40% of those over 65 will die in nursing homes. Too often, nursing home residents die in pain with unrelieved physical and psychosocial suffering. While death is inevitable for permanently placed residents, undue suffering is not.

Both practice and knowledge are an essential foundation to providing good end-of-life care to nursing home residents.

Palliative care is both a philosophy and a care delivery approach. For nursing homes, palliative care includes a resident/family centered focus, enhances residents’ quality of life, and complements traditional restorative interventions. In nursing homes that have a palliative care focus, staff embrace death as a normal and inevitable outcome for permanently placed residents. Further, staff: a) engage in advance care planning, i.e., to talk openly about dying and to elicit residents’ personal preferences regarding end-of-life care upon admission, at care plan meetings, and whenever a resident’s condition changes; b) are knowledgeable about and engage in active symptom management; c) integrate palliative planning and interventions demonstrated by fewer unnecessary hospitalizations and feeding tubes, and more hospice referrals; d) provide psychosocial support for dying residents and their family members; e) employ bereavement interventions, such as memorial services, for staff, other residents, and family members; and f) provide staff continuing education regarding palliative care.

To read more “A Measure of Palliative Care in Nursing Homes” CLICK HERE
Pedagogy Inc. has released a course for hospice nurses as well as long term care nurses caring for these residents, “Using Hospice and Palliative Preferred Practices to Create a Plan of Care”.

Because of the complex needs of hospice and palliative care patients, clinicians must be able to construct a plan of care that will accurately chart a patient’s progress towards outcomes that enhance his or her quality of life. To accomplish this important service, clinicians should employ a system of preferred practices to effectively assess, document, and manage the end of life needs of patients and their families.

This course has been designed to teach nurses and end of life care professionals how to use preferred practices to create and implement a plan of care that is patient- centered and based on an assessment of the patient’s physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs. When these needs are considered, patients receive practical and compassionate care developed from quality assessment and communication.

To learn more about our online education course for yourself or your facility: CLICK HERE
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