1.2 Introduction to Palliative Care

Introduction to Palliative
Aims of Session
 To increase understanding of Palliative Care
 To identify some of the life threatening conditions
this approach is appropriate for
 To be aware of the role and responsibilities of
the nursing auxiliary in Palliative Care
What is Palliative Care?
 Palliative care is an approach to looking after
someone with a life threatening illness
 It means not just looking after their physical
needs but also taking into account what their
illness means to their social, psychological
and spiritual well being
What is Palliative Care?
 The goal of Palliative Care is to achieve the best
quality of life for patients and for their families for
however long they have
 It can be applicable at any stage in a patient’s
disease journey - some patients may be
diagnosed and die very quickly others may live
with their chronic illness for years gradually
losing their independence
Activity 1
The right of every
Terminal care
Is only provided by specialist
Hospice care
Cancer care
Home care
Symptom control
Physician assisted
Care of advanced progressive
Care of the dying
The Basis of Nursing and
Palliative Care
 Always putting the person first
 Helping achieve holistic living not just looking
after the physical
 Working in partnership with the patient and
their loved ones
 Identifying with the patient their needs
The Basis of Nursing and
Palliative Care
 Involving the patient in decision-making
 Promoting and maintaining function and
independence as far as possible for some
patients right to the end!!!
…in order to maintain the patients’
independence, decision making and dignity
Who receives Palliative Care?
Any patient with a life threatening, non-curable
disease, for example:
- Cancer
- End stage Heart Failure
- COPD (Respiratory Disease)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Motor Neurone Disease
When does a person require
Palliative Care?
At any time during their illness because the
diagnosis can have a huge impact on the
person, their family, carers and friends
How is Palliative Care given?
Psychological Support
Emotional Support
Spiritual Support
Assessing and Treating Physical Symptoms
Effective End of Life Care
What is your Role?
Communication – listening, human contact,
“Being there”
Building a trusting relationship
Maintaining dignity by providing help the patient
wants – promoting independence
 Help adjustment, acknowledge loss of role and
 Involve Patient and Family in all aspects of care
What is your Role?
 Assisting with essential care, e.g. personal
hygiene, mouth care, pressure area care
 Report Symptoms or Concerns
 Comfort Measures
 Promote Calm, Safe Environment
– curtains, side room, own bed linen, bed cage,
consider temperature of patient and environment,
lighting etc
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