Next up in the nursing news this week is a look at why nurses are an integral part of getting good palliative and hospice care consults in place for patients who need them. I have been covering it seems like one or two end-of-life stories each month lately and I think that is because it is becoming a bigger and bigger issue for the healthcare professionals out there.

End-Of-Life Decision Making

death-dying-gravestoneThe Journal Critical Care Nurse put out a report on how patients and families facing end-of-life decision planning have many problems that they have to deal with when trying to talk to their doctors about options. We nurses know that palliative care offers many options for care at end-of-life including psychological and spiritual care, pain management support and support for making decisions involving the best options for care as death approaches.

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is supporting a position that critical care nurses and other nurses are a valuable part of the referral process when it comes to recommending palliative care consults for patients. They represent an advocate for these patients and their families so that all their options are presented to them in such a way that they can make an informed decision about their future care.

The article also talks about how nurses are faced with increased stresses when helping patient face end-of-life challenges they see as needlessly difficult. Helping these patients understand all options helps to alleviate these stresses, too. I’ll keep covering stories like this in the future and I will also try to get an in-person interview on this subject in this coming year’s 2016 AACN conference that I hope to attend in May. Stay tuned here to the Nursing Show.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Why a Career in Wound Care Nursing and Episode 369.

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