Frequently Asked Questions About Palliative Care
Helping patients and their loved ones cope with serious or end-stage illnesses can be challenging. Palliative care goals should incorporate a host of pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies to help relieve patient distress and discomfort. Learn about the 8 domains of palliative care, pain management, and how to become a nurse leader – who can help manage patient and family care, as well as assisting patients and their support systems cope with the disease process.
Palliative care measures for patients with serious or end-stage illnesses can be confusing and lack clarity. Typically, patient care goals focus on curative measures, and patients and families may not be familiar with palliative care. To complicate matters, patients, families, and even providers frequently associate palliative care with imminent death and “giving up.” However, when we understand the effects of a disease, its interventions, and know patients’ care goals, we can be better patient advocates across the spectrum of care. We can serve as nurse leaders on an inter-professional team to manage patient and family care and help patients and their loved ones cope with the disease process. Here we address some commonly asked palliative care questions.
Key Learning Outcomes
- Discuss pharmacologic strategies for relieving distress in patients with serious to end-stage illness..
- Discuss non-pharmacologic strategies for relieving distress in patients with serious to end-stage illness.
- Identify the stages of death.
Kaveri M. Roy
Kaveri M. Roy is an assistant professor of nursing at MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, Massachusetts, and a hospice nurse educator at Care Dimensions in Danvers, Massachusetts.