Nursing and Palliative Care
- A press release
NURSES TAKE ACTION TO ADDRESS UNNECESSARY SUFFERING
Each year over 40 million people die worldwide. 50-75% of cancer and AIDS patients with advanced disease suffers unnecessarily with untreated pain or poorly managed symptoms. Nurses spend more time with patients and families facing life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, heart disease or neurological disease than any other member of the health care team. Yet, studies have shown that many nurses feel inadequately prepared to provide the comprehensive care so important at this phase of life.
Several nurses recently attended the FIRST Salzburg Seminar for Nurses entitled “Palliative Care for All Patients” held in Salzburg, Austria. The course was sponsored by the Austrian American Foundation, and the International Palliative Care Initiative of the Open Society Institute. The curriculum was developed through the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) which is a project of the City of Hope National Medical Center, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Thirty-nine nursing leaders from fifteen countries in Eastern Europe , Russia , and Central Asia were selected to attend the course.
The principal goal of the training program is to improve the care of patients and families suffering with life-limiting illnesses by integrating palliative care into nursing education and nursing practice. Course content was presented in several formats including lecture, open forum discussion, small group activities, role play, and each participant received a 1000 page syllabus, a copy of the Textbook of Palliative Nursing (Oxford University Press), and the ELNEC (End of Life Nursing Education Consortium) Curriculum on CD Rom. Each participating nurse has been charged with returning to their country and passing on the knowledge they have received to nurses and other colleagues.
The training program was conducted by a distinguished faculty of researchers, educators, authors, and leaders in the field of palliative care. Faculty included Betty Ferrell from the City of Hope National Medical Center in Los Angeles, Ca., Nessa Coyle from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, NY, Judith Paice from Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill., Patrick Coyne from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., and Mary Callaway from the International Palliative Care Initiative at the Open Society Institute in New York City, NY. Topic areas included pain and symptom management, psychological issues, social and cultural considerations, communication, loss, grief and bereavement, preparation for the time of death, pediatric palliative care, and achieving the best quality of life at the end of life.
Nurses are the heart of health care team and must be well trained, respected for their contribution, and appropriately compensated for the work they do.
For further information please contact: Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, Course Director, City of Hope National Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA at [email protected]