Learn about palliative care nursing

Published 05/25/22 Written by Ingenuity & Solutions | Last updated on April 18, 2023

Nurse caring a patient

Nursing as a healthcare profession is profoundly conditioned by both social changes and changes in the healthcare and service organizations it is immersed in. Nurses will have to be able to deal competently and efficiently with the demands of citizens and the challenges of the profession in a constantly changing environment. The quality of nursing interventions requires a deepening of individualized care defined in the patient's own terms, especially when the disease is persistent.

Developing this clinical practice requires knowledge of health technology, clinical ethics, interpersonal relations, satisfaction assessment, and interdisciplinary work. These circumstances make a precise definition of nursing competencies necessary to: identify their professional role in organizations with a clear multidisciplinary tendency and to provide expert, comprehensive, personalized, and quality care that meets the changing needs and expectations of society.

Otherwise, nursing may become a profession highly vulnerable to organizations, services, and other healthcare disciplines. Due to the characteristics of this care discipline, Palliative care nurses must clarify their professional role within the care team.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is the branch of medicine responsible for preventing and alleviating suffering and providing the best possible quality of life for patients suffering from severe and life-threatening illnesses, both for their well-being and that of their families. Palliative care is usually applied to patients with terminal diseases beyond medical treatment or extreme conditions with life-prolonging therapies. Caring Nurses offers excellent options for school nursing in Connecticut in different cities or towns, such as: School nursing in Torrington, Litchfield, Connecticut, CT | School nursing in Bantam, Litchfield, Connecticut, CT | School nursing in Litchfield, Litchfield, Connecticut, CT | School nursing in Watertown, Litchfield, Connecticut, CT | School nursing in Winchester, Litchfield, Connecticut, CT | School nursing in Woodbury, Litchfield, Connecticut, CT |

The main objectives of palliative care can be summarized as follows:

1. The management of the symptoms that put the patient and/or the patient's relatives in a situation of suffering.

2. Establishing treatment goals according to the patient's preferences for their life.

3. Maintaining communication between the patient, his family or caregivers, and the entire medical team involved in treating his disease.

4. Provide psychosocial and spiritual support to the patient and family members.

The success of palliative care is based on the communication that must exist between the patient, his family, and his physicians in an atmosphere of Cordiality, Respect, and Trust, as well as on the perfect understanding of the goals set, the state of the disease and the wishes primarily of the patient and, secondarily, of his family members.

What diseases may require palliative care?

Several illnesses require palliative care. This medical branch helps these patients in different moments during their treatment. Due to the nature of their disease, they are outside a usual or conventional medical treatment or in a very advanced stage with little likelihood of response to established treatments. Some examples of the disorders that at some point require more regular palliative care are:

1. Cancer.

2. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS).

3. Advanced heart disease.

4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

5. Chronic renal disease (end-stage renal failure).

6. Advanced or untreatable neurological diseases such as most dementias (such as Alzheimer's type).

The role of the palliative care nurse

The interest of nursing care in palliative care focuses on all the dimensions of the patient as a person, understanding that this person has individual, concrete, and specific needs, in continuous change and evolution.

Clinical nursing interventions are aimed at caring for the patient. Nursing care in palliative care has been conceived in the double sense of the profession's meaning of caring: care as the application of a technical and specialized treatment, and care through concern for the person and his or her needs as a global or integral approach.

The nurse's participation in palliative care is about planning care based on individuality, continuity, flexibility, accessibility, polyvalence, and multidisciplinary content. On the one hand, it should respond to the evolutionary incidences of the disease in symptom control, help in meeting basic needs, collaborate in planning daily life, facilitate adaptation processes and basic emotional support, contribute to patient-family-team communication, respect values, beliefs, and lifestyles, instruct the family in specific aspects of care and collaborate with the resources potentially involved.

On the other hand, interdisciplinary teamwork should be considered a matter of co-responsibility towards the profession, the different disciplines involved, and the patients and families being cared for. Are you looking for nursing jobs at school in Connecticut? Look no further than Carling Nurses {service(nursing-jobs-litchfield)}

The difference between palliative and hospice care

Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. Hospice care begins after treatment for the illness is stopped and when it is clear that the person will not survive the disease. Hospice care is usually provided only when the person is expected to live for 6 months or less.

What are the main symptoms or complaints that palliative care focuses on?

The symptoms that are treated in palliative care are very varied and depend on the type of illness. Still, there are also secondary discomforts caused indirectly by the disease, the social environment, and the psychological aspects that the disease itself entails. These symptoms include:

1. Pain management.

2. Depression management.

3. Anxiety management.

4. Treatment of delirium.

5. Fatigue.

6. Dyspnea.

7. Insomnia.

8. Nausea.

9. Constipation.

10. Diarrhea.

11. Lack of appetite.

The understanding and comprehension of the disease, its state, degree of severity, prognosis, and treatment options by both the patient and his family is achieved through constant communication with his physician, as well as the bond of trust that must be created between the medical team in charge, the patient and his family.

This process avoids unnecessary prolongation of life or suffering and therapeutic measures that are not aimed at either the patient's well-being or the improvement of the patient's life prognosis, thus avoiding therapeutic ingratiation. That is to say, to favor the quality of death. Achieving an adequate treatment of the symptoms that cause terminal diseases, improving the quality of life at the patient's end of life, and ensuring the welfare of their families.

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