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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.
There is a need for more research led by nurses working in clinical environments. In the last of our blog series for International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, Dr Caroline Phelan of Flinders University and academic at the Research Centre for Palliative Care, Death and Dying (RePadd) discuss the important role of research nurses in developing evidence, and her personal experience.
To continue our celebration of the International Year of Nurses and Midwife, we are featuring blogs on nurses and their critical role in providing palliative care and how they can be supported further. Kylie Ash, National Project Manager for PCC4U and Melissa Slattery, Head of Discipline for Nursing at EQUALS International, discuss the need for a nationally consistent palliative care education for enrolled nurses, and how the PCC4U EN Toolkit and EQUALs Diploma of Nursing can help.
Some patients do not receive adequate pain and symptom relief at the end of life, causing distress to patients, families and healthcare professionals. It is unclear whether undertreatment of symptoms occurs, in part, because of nurses' concerns about legal and/or disciplinary repercussions if the patient dies after medication is administered. Dr Katrin Gerber, Professor Lindy Willmott, Professor Ben White, and Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates from Queensland University of Technology discuss the findings from their research and interviews with nurses from different clinical backgrounds and settings about their concerns when providing pain and symptom relief to patients near the end of life.
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.
Additional pressures on the healthcare system during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can challenge the way we approach activities we perform routinely, including the management of medicines. Paul Tait, Lead Palliative Care Pharmacist at Southern Adelaide Palliative Care Services discusses five tips to ensure good medicines management for people living with palliative care needs in their home.