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The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
Nurses make up the majority of the health care workforce and as such are at the frontline in caring for the sick and dying, never more so than in caring for people during COVID-19. Deb Rawlings, Senior Lecturer in Palliative Care at College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, reflects on her 40 years of experience in nursing, Florence Nightingale's legacy, and resources to support nurses in providing care at the end of life.
COVID-19 presents an important opportunity to raise the urgency of palliative care in humanitarian emergencies. Rachel Coghlan, PhD candidate at the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership, shares her experience while visiting the Gaza Strip and highlights how persons living through humanitarian crises can teach us the importance of compassion and support for each other, especially to those suffering illness or dying.
Everyone should consider an advance care plan (ACP), however, ACP is a concept based on Western principles of self-determination, patient autonomy, informed consent and decision-making. These values are not universally accepted and compete with other beliefs for many older Australians. Dr Georgia Rowley from ELDAC discusses Australia’s diverse population and how diversity considerations should be made when engaging in ACP initiatives.
COVID-19 is changing the way we understand our health systems, our society and ourselves. Palliative care is now a critical part of a response to the pandemic nationally. Professor Jennifer Tieman discusses the need to provide relevant information to health professionals, aged care workers, and patients, family and carers, and how the new CareSearch COVID-19 and Palliative Care hub can support them.
The current COVID-19 pandemic is presenting many urgent challenges in healthcare. However, it is important to remember the continuing needs of current and new patients with other health problems. It is within this context that Professor Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director from Flinders University discusses telehealth and how it can be used in addressing unexpected and novel health problems.