STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Patient views offer ‘important messages’ for nurses on end of life care By Jo Stephenson, Nursing Times

Nurses have a “huge role” to play in helping patients broach the issue of dying and their final wishes, but it is also vital they have the support to do so, a leading palliative care expert has said.

According to the survey of 2,000 adults published this week by the Dying Matters Coalition, most patients regularly thought about death and believed it should be talked about more often, but many admitted they found it uncomfortable to discuss. Claire Henry, chief executive of the coalition and a nurse by background, told Nursing Times that the survey findings contained important messages for healthcare professionals.

“We need to have these conversations when people are well and that’s everyone’s responsibility, but health professionals should be encouraging them,” she said. “Nurses, healthcare assistants and their social care colleagues have a huge role to play, because they often have really good relationships with patients and their families.” She said it was not about asking blunt questions such as “where do you want to die?”, but initiating discussions at the right time.

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Patient views offer important messages for nurses on end of life care

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