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Palliative Care Nursing


Palliative care is the process of rendering special medicare care to patients who are suffering from serious diseases. It is basically focused on improving the quality of life of family and patients both. The parties included in offering special care consists of specially-trained doctors, the specialist who works with doctors and nursing staff which ensure the extra layer support.

Generally, acute hospitals shed light on the diagnosis and treatment of the patients in terms of cure and discharging. At this juncture, the recognition phase reflects that patients seek the end of life and in need of interventions. For this purpose, sometimes communication and care planning with patients might become typical, due to negligence of psychological and spiritual needs. For this purpose, the role of the senior and junior clinicians is very important. However, lack of experience and knowledge among junior staff in recognizing and meeting the expectation of patients affect the care plan to a great extent (Gutierrez, 2005).

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The thesis statement for the essay is that delivery of palliative care should be done in the line of standards set by healthcare and maintain the well being of patients as well as families in the content of emotional and psycho-social (Schroder and et. al., 2009). However, poor regulations and lack of knowledge among nursing staff create an issue to meet the care requirement of terminally ill patients as well as families connected to them.

The present essay is based on palliative care offered to patients of Australia in an acute care setting where the focus is laid on improving the life quality of sufferers. Furthermore, the essay covers issues related to pain management, support from patients and families as well as knowledge associated with treatment. Apart from this, the care required of dying patients in the acute care setting has also been explained.

Main Body

Care requirement of dying patients and their family

The care requirement of dying patients and their families is considered in term of pain management, spiritual needs, communication as well as advanced care directive. At this juncture, patients generally seek for the appropriate kind of communication between doctors and family in order to increase their dependence (Morgan, 2017). At the same time, emotional support is needed from the experts or doctors which generates a positive feeling among patients and makes them feel happy. However, it covers several kinds of illnesses such as Colon Cancer, HIV/AIDS, and Dementia as well as Cancer, etc. This kind of treatment must be provided with detail discussion with families and patients both for getting appropriate support (Rodriguez, Barnato and Arnold, 2007).

The process of pain management begins with the physical effects and its functional impact on pain. After assessing these two things doctors move forward with the assessment of psychosocial factors and spiritual aspects. For this purpose, nursing staff must focus on spiritual needs thereby it becomes easy to meet their expectations effectively. In addition to this, advanced care directive is required by patients in order to make them a bit self-dependent and promote their healthy life. At the same time, specific information is provided to family members regarding the treatment and special care so they can be certain about some future consequences of the provided services (Le and Watt, 2010.).

For this purpose, the National Framework for Advance Care Directive in 2011 was endorsed through The Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council. It assists care staff to record the wishes of patients for future care treatment in a document that reflects legal status too.

Nursing issues faced in delivering end of life care

There are several kinds of issues which are being faced by nursing staff in delivering the end of life care. For example, Clinician participants believed that advance care directives are relatively less helpful in rendering services and taking the clinician decision making. On the other hand, some of the nurses find it difficult to recognize a dying patient due to their lack of knowledge in the same field (Fagerlin and Schneider, 2004). It happens due to a lack of training programs that can be resolved by offering preparatory programs for end-of-life care through medical specialties such as oncology, intensive care, and geriatrics.

Apart from this, their poor experience affects the care quality they are offering the patients with severe disease or to end life care. Apart from this, personal pain of nursing staff affects them at the time of delivery of services or end of a life care plan. Most of the nursing staff found it is the most painful experience in taking care of dying patients (Bezzina, 2009). Such kind of emotional feelings of nursing staff become more painful for families of patients. Apart from this, personal discomfort with death becomes negative for doctors or specialists as they feeling that it is a sign of their failure. At that particular point in time, they do not consider it as a natural process of life (Maddocks and Rayner, 2003). On the other hand, insufficient compensation of nursing staff also becomes the reason behind job dissatisfaction.

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It is because they devote much of their time to talk to patients or families of terminally ill patients. Owing to this, they expect higher compensation or an appropriate one. Moreover, the absence of maintaining the free flow of communication also does affect the care plan to a great extent (Micallef, Skrifvars and Parr, 2011). Owing to this nursing staff must recognize the need of patients with the help of enhancing own experience and knowledge. It would be effective to conduct the initial assessment in a proper manner and determine the most suitable care of the patients who are suffering from some of the specific severe diseases.


The aforementioned report concludes that the care plan of dying patients must be made effective for the catering requirement of their family and improving life quality. It is also important to shed light on difficulties that are being faced by patients and equal focus on own professional and personal problems for the best care. It can also be concluded that end of life care is optimized with the support or collaboration of different parties such as patients, families, and team offering treatment.


  • Bezzina, A., 2009. Prevalence of advance care directives in aged care facilities of the Northern Illawarra. Emergency Medicine Australasia.
  • Fagerlin, A. and Schneider, C., 2004. Enough the failure of the living will. Hastings Center Report.
  • Gutierrez, K., 2005. Critical care nurses’ perceptions of and responses to moral distress. Dimensions of Critical Care.
  • Le, B. and Watt, J., 2010. Care of the dying in Australia’s busiest hospital: benefits of palliative care consultation and methods to enhance access. Journal of Palliative Medicine.
  • Maddocks, I. and Rayner, R., 2003. Issues in palliative care for Indigenous communities. Medical Journal of Australia.
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