CareSearch Blog: Palliative Perspectives

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.
 

Working as a Specialist Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner in RAC

A Guest Blog Post from Peter Jenkin, Nurse Practitioner (Palliative Care), Resthaven Incorporated

  • 3 May 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 6318
  • 7 Comments
Working as a Specialist Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner in RAC

Nurse Practitioners (NP) work in many roles in residential aged care: general primary care, wound care, memory disorders, mental health, heart failure and palliative care.

A Nurse Practitioner is a Registered Nurse who has completed both advanced university study at a Masters Degree level and extensive clinical training to expand upon the traditional role of a Registered Nurse. They use extended skills, knowledge and experience in the assessment, planning, implementation, diagnosis and evaluation of care required.

As far as I know, I am still (unfortunately) the only specialist palliative care nurse practitioner employed by an aged care provider in Australia. Why is that you ask? Primarily it comes down to money. NP services are not funded via the aged care funding system (ACFI), and the income I can generate from bulk billing residents via Medicare covers only a small proportion of my salary. So it relies on an organisation like Resthaven seeing the non-monetary benefits and improved outcomes that stem from a role like this. 

 

Have you ever wondered why it's difficult to find a useful and relevant palliative care app when you need one?

A guest blog post from Amanda Adams, Project Officer, GATI Project, Decision Assist program and CareSearch Research Assistant

  • 15 March 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 5641
  • 2 Comments
Have you ever wondered why it's difficult to find a useful and relevant palliative care app when you need one?

In 2013, Canalys (1) estimated there were over 1,600,000 apps available in the two largest online app stores,  iTunes and Google Play, and the number of platform-based, service carrier or manufacturer-operated online stores has increased to over 70 worldwide in the last two years (2). With over 1.2 billion people now accessing mobile applications (3), the role of the app has become multidimensional, with users expecting to discover an app to enhance every part of their life, for both work and play. For healthcare professionals (HCPs) working in palliative care, searching, evaluating, identifying, and downloading relevant apps from the proverbial sea of applications is a time-consuming pastime which often yields little to no results.

Assessing and managing chronic breathlessness

A guest blog post from Professor of Palliative Care David Currow

  • 16 February 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 6471
  • 0 Comments
Assessing and managing chronic breathlessness

Chronic breathlessness is highly prevalent across the community. One in 100 Australians have significant impairment of their activities of daily living and one in 300 people are housebound because of breathlessness.

Chronic breathlessness is systematically under-recognised by health professionals. When taking a history about breathlessness, the question ‘are you breathless?’ is not going to elicit the problem nor its magnitude. ‘What do you have to avoid in order to minimise breathlessness?’ is a far more important question, or this can also be phrased as ‘what have you given up in order not to be breathless?’ With these questions, we start to get a picture of the net impact of breathlessness on individual patients.

5 tips for opioid prescribing in palliative patients

A guest blog post from Lead Palliative Care Pharmacist Paul Tait

  • 9 February 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 6833
  • 0 Comments
5 tips for opioid prescribing in palliative patients

People living with a life-limiting illness, such as cancer, frequently report moderate to severe pain and describe in detail how it affects activities of daily living and quality of life. What matters most – be it spending quality time with grandchildren, time in the garden, or writing down their favourite life anecdotes – becomes hard work and wearisome in the face of uncontrolled pain. Yet in managing this beast that is pain, management with opioids has its own share of issues. Fortunately, with some thought at the point of prescribing, whether initiating or reviewing therapy, general practitioners (GPs) can anticipate these issues. Here are five tips to improve confidence with opioid use in the terminally ill.

Living longer, dying better

A guest blog post from Prof Liz Reymond MBBS [Hons], FRACGP, FAChPM, PhD

  • 10 November 2015
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 6478
  • 0 Comments
Living longer, dying better

The care that people receive as they approach the end of their life really does matter. It matters to the person, it matters to the people who love them, and it is a reflection of our societal values. Everyone is affected by death during their lives and everyone dies; indeed, death is a universal health outcome. We need to do end-of-life care well.

Decision Assist, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, recognises that GPs and aged care workers should be supported to provide quality end-of-life care to meet the needs of older Australians.  

To help support GPs, ANZSPM, as a part of Decision Assist, is promoting a framework of care that is based on a palliative approach and suitable for people in the last year of life and can help guide  clinicians to provide high quality end-of-life care focussing on a person’s preferences for care and proactive delivery of holistic comprehensive care. 

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About our Blog

The CareSearch blog Palliative Perspectives informs and provides a platform for sharing views, tips and ideas related to palliative care from community members and health professionals. 
 

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