Risks Associated with the Nursing Role in Palliative Care.
Palliative care is a healthcare practice that seeks to address needs of terminally ill patients. It is a practice meant to improve the quality of life for the patients whose conditions are deteriorating progressively towards death (Faull & Woof, 2002). However, there are risks associated with the role that a nurse plays in palliative care. The most common risk is that a nurse may be called a killer in the event when a patient passes on. In most cases, families of the diseased accused nurses of euthanasia.
Need for Palliative Care.
A patient may need palliative care at any stage of illness; even soon after diagnosis and treatment commence. It is advisable not to wait until a disease reaches an advanced stage or when a patient is in their final months of life. The earlier the palliative care is started, the better. In most cases, when patients begin to receive treatments, they experience depression, anxiety, pain, and fatigue. In these cases, palliative care teams help the patients and their families to cope with the situations (Faull & Woof, 2002). It is recommended that either a patient or their families should talk to their doctor and request for a referral to palliative care that could be offered in a hospital setting, a patient's home, a long-term care facility or a hospice.
It is appropriate for doctors to have palliative care timelines showing all the approaches they are going t use during the end-of-life care for terminally ill patients. Planning is recommended before the admission of the patients into palliative care programs. Patients should be referred for palliative care long before the illness reaches a terminal phase. A doctor is then advised to the current medical and functional status of patients. Palliative care best practices require that a doctor should discuss with the family of the patient about the current prognosis and the objectives of offering palliative care.