Managing symptoms is core business for palliative care. Nurses have a role to play in helping to achieve the best symptom control and optimum quality of life for patients.
Working with patients often on a daily basis, nurses are best placed to assess and monitor pain and symptoms and advocate for patients in regards to their care and management. Many services use pain assessment tools or the SAS (Symptom Assessment Scale) (303kb pdf) in their practice which facilitates tracking of symptoms from the patients’ perspective.
It is also important to recognise that not all symptoms will be physical, but could be psychological, social or spiritual, or have psychological, social or spiritual components.