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Valued aspects of palliative care community nurse specialist role
  1. Katie Mitchell, Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
  1. Community Team, St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney. Email: k.mitchell{at}stjh.org

Abstract

Community palliative care nurses provide a range of services for patients who have complex needs and their carers in the midst of terminal illness. Patients often prefer to be looked after at home when they are terminally ill because home represents a place where they feel safe and where they have most control over decisions. The author works as a clinical nurse specialist within a community palliative care team. Her professional experience led her to be interested in identifying the aspects of palliative care patients and their families value most. Consequently, a literature search was carried out to identify those aspects of care provided by community specialist palliative care nurses deemed invaluable to patients and their families. The two most important elements of care, as identified by patients and carers, were found to be the provision of emotional support and having expertise in the management of symptoms. This article discusses these elements with regard to the community specialist palliative care nurse’s role, highlighting where the community palliative care service fails to meet the needs of patients and families. Conflicts of interest: none

  • Community palliative care
  • End-of-life care
  • Palliative care nurse specialists
  • Patient and carer experience
  • Terminal disease

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