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Palliative and Hospice Care: Educational Needs of Inpatient Registered Nurses

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Hospice and palliative care aim to improve the quality of life for patients and families impacted by chronic, serious, and life-threatening illnesses. Patients and families benefit from earlier integration of palliative care and seamless transitions to hospice care. Nurses are an integral part of the care team, and their understanding of these services is critical. However, many nurses do not receive formal education in hospice and palliative care. This leads to lack of skills that nurses need to provide and discuss hospice and palliative care across care settings. Nurses in an acute care setting of a large health system were invited to participate in a survey, Attitudes Towards Care at the End-of-Life. The results of this survey revealed that nurses believe that patients and families need to be communicated with honestly regarding their disease, but nurses lack the knowledge of how to facilitate these discussions. Another key finding is that nurses feel less confident with non-pharmacologic interventions to relieve patients' suffering. Education is urgently needed in these areas.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2016

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