Critical Care Nurses Can Promote Palliative Care
According to an article recently published in the journal Critical Care Nurse, barriers to palliative care consultations prevent many patients and their families from discussing it with their team of health-care providers. The article, “Overcoming Barriers to Palliative Care Consultation,” offers nursing-specific strategies to help hospitals better integrate palliative care into everyday critical care and encourage widespread adoption of palliative care services. Patients receiving palliative care have better quality of life and live longer, but cost the healthcare system less. Still, many patients are not offered the opportunity to receive a palliative care consultation,” said the lead author of the article. The article recommends strategies critical care nurses can use to overcome these barriers, including educating other health-care providers about the purpose and benefits of palliative care to increase understanding and support; emphasizing to other health-care providers and patients’ families that symptom management can improve patient outcomes; emphasizing to other health-care providers that palliative care providers have more time and more options for symptom management, which improves the quality of care; advocating for development and use of specific criteria or trigger situations that require a palliative care consultation and working with other health-care providers to ensure that a consistent message is provided to patients and their families. “To overcome barriers to palliative care consultation, critical care nurses need to be champions for palliative care on the policy level of the hospital and the unit and on the level of individual patients,” said the author. To read more about this article, click here.
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