Historically, palliative care was most commonly provided to those with advanced cancer and their families, while in more recent years the scope of and access to palliative care services has expanded. This is often due to the demonstrated benefits of referral, the ability to refer for ongoing care and support, and the more predictable trajectory of advanced cancer than non-malignant disease.

Oncology and palliative care services will often work closely together to achieve optimum patient care.

Oncology nurses often develop close relationship with patients and their families because of the often long term care. They work with them throughout the success and failure of treatment regimens and are involved with end of life decision making.

A literature review highlights the need for education to facilitate healthy grieving in the face of these ongoing losses [1] and that nurses would also benefit from workplace strategies to help address these issues. [2]

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  1. Brown C, Wood A. Oncology nurses' grief: a literature review. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2009 Dec;13(6):625-7. doi: 10.1188/09.CJON.625-627.
  2. Hildebrandt L. Providing grief resolution as an oncology nurse retention strategy: a literature review. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2012 Dec;16(6):601-6. doi: 10.1188/12.CJON.601-606. 

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Last updated 14 September 2018