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Palliative Care Nursing

Palliative Care Nursing by Margaret O'Connor
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Palliative care has been traditionally defined as ‘ . . . specialised health care of dying people, aiming to maximise quality of life and assist families and carers during and after death’ (PCA 1999). The long tradition of the hospice movement attests to a commitment to care for people who are dying. More recently, palliative care has developed into an active practice-based discipline aimed at improving the care of those who are facing the end of their lives. Palliative care now begins before the traditionally understood dying phase of care, and has become a multidisciplinary practice involving interactions with other relevant parts of the health-care system.

Wherever palliative care is practised, it is founded on the following values and principles (PCA 1999): the dignity of the patient and family; compassionate care of the patient and family; equity in access to palliative-care services; respect for the patient, family, and carers; advocacy on behalf of the expressed wishes of patients, families, and communities; pursuit of excellence in the provision of care and support; and accountability to patients, families, and the wider community.

The success of the first edition of Palliative Care Nursing suggests that the original goal of developing a book that would make palliative care accessible to nurses in all health settings has been realised. This second edition has been totally revised, rewritten, and redesigned to ensure that the book remains a reliable and useful practice guide for nurses, especially for those who are new to palliative care and those who work in other areas of health in which palliativecare skills are required.

This complete revision and rewriting required a comprehensive re-evaluation of the first edition. Feedback from nurses revealed that the clinically focused chapters of the earlier edition were especially useful in guiding practice, and this has resulted in an increased focus on clinical issues in this second edition. The content of the new book has therefore been refocused to incorporate a wider range of clinical problems faced by nurses in their care of dying people. Each of these new chapters has been written by a nurse with recognised expertise in the topic area and a commitment to providing recommendations that are firmly evidence-based. Many of these authors are from countries other than Australia, and this reflects a widening of content and readership from a predominantly Australian focus to a wider international scope.

This book will empower nurses through the development of their clinical knowledge, and will contribute to enhanced care for people who are dying.

Ausmed Publications; September 2004
402 pages; ISBN 9781597340229
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Title: Palliative Care Nursing
Author: Margaret O'Connor; Sanchia Aranda
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