Palliative care encompasses the entire process of treatment of patients with chronic conditions whereby complete reversal or curative measures of the diseases has become almost impossible. Palliative care is also referred to as comfort care. The primary purpose of palliative care is give assurance and hope to patients including as well as care givers in the patient’s life to experience a most exceptional quality life (DuBenske et al 2016). The undertaking of palliative care entails various life dimensions including social and spiritual interventions for managing symptoms as well as other psychological requirements. Thus, palliative care involves general care across the continuum of a patient’s ailment with the most appropriate plans and decisions made regarding the patient’s sickness in the event of alleviating pain and other symptoms associated with terminal illness.
Impact of End of Life Care
End-of-life form of care the central part in palliative care in care givers involved in caring of individuals nearing their end of life. The care givers may be relatives, friends, or a trained personnel. These individuals not only provide health care but also provide social support to terminally ill patients. Palliative care usually involves exceptional care to patients typically within the last six months of their life (Prince et al 2016). Provision of adequate care to patients should be sensitive to the right time, at the right place and should involve comprehensive care (Prince et al 2016). It also involves trained nurses via palliative induction program especially in practical communication skills in facilitating the shifting of patients to a community-based palliative caring system with the appropriateness of the patient’s needs and comfortability. Both palliative care and the end of life care are meant to relieve the symptoms and pain with the most caring way.
Palliative care needs continuous assessment of the patient’s condition. For instance, the nursing clinics of North America has put the focus on modalities, thoughts, and interventions to be regarded for patients under a palliative care or end-of-life care program (DuBenske et al 2016). Spiritual and emotional support is critical giving comfort to terminally ill patients. Palliative care involves therapies such as those used in cancer patients to regulate progression of the disease and pain relief. In the United States, palliative care centers accommodate inpatient and outpatient service delivery.
Prospective studies have shown that most of the adult patients prefer dying at home. However, about 70% of deaths is reported to occur in a long-term caring facility, a nursing home, or acute care hospital (Prince et al 2016). Out of this statistics, 20% die while receiving treatment in intensive care unit. Currently, 40% up to 80% of US hospitals have a system of palliative care with others in their developmental stages (Prince et al 2016). Emergency departments (EDs) and emergency medicine are essential in dealing with palliative care. Palliative care may be provided by a team of nurses, doctors, or other medical specialists to improve a patient’s quality of life at any age or stage of illness. Nurses and the involved medical specialists identify the special need as trusted confidant and caregiver of both the patient and the family. As patients approach their end-of-life, they opt to seek care for optimal psychological, physical, social, and spiritual care.
Thus, palliative care is essential health care program for patients especially those with a severe illness such as cancer. Monitoring of a patient’s quality of life is vital especially in terminally ill patients. Since these patients have different health complications resulting from their conditions, provision of palliative care requires well trained personnel to ensure optimal delivery of healthcare to terminal ill patients.
DuBenske, L. L., Mayer, D. K., & Gustafson, D. H. (2016). Advanced Cancer: Palliative, End Life, and Bereavement Care. In Oncology Informatics (pp. 181-203).
Prince, H., et al. (2016). E07-B Improving End-of-Life Care in First Nations Communities: Lessons Learned from a 5-year CIHR Research Project. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 52(6), e42-e43.