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I was disturbed, yet unsurprised, to read in Michelle Morris’s article (featured on pages 8–14 of this issue) that the National Audit Office (2008) has found that only 18% of the nurses it surveyed, had received any preregistration training in palliative and end-of-life care. I had no formal preregistration education or training in end-of-life care. However, I did (and still do) have role models.
As a student nurse, 6 weeks into my training, one of my first jobs on a ward was to assist a staff nurse with last offices and learn how to care for a deceased patient. As a second-year student nurse, I learned about palliative care from what was then called the ‘Support Team Sister’. She visited the male medical ward on which I was placed to talk about enabling a particular patient suffering from lung cancer to die in his own home. She was inspirational. From her …
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