Exploring the role of community palliative care nurse specialists as educators

Marie Curie Cancer Care, Marie Curie Hospice, Edinburgh, UK.
International journal of palliative nursing 07/2006; 12(6):277-84. DOI: 10.12968/ijpn.2006.12.6.21453
Source: PubMed


In the UK the clinical nurse specialist role (CNS) has evolved in an uncoordinated manner resulting in a broad job remit, with clinical, managerial, research and educational elements. CNSs working in specialist palliative care are expected to contribute to the delivery of education but many have received no formal training to support them in this aspect of their role. There has been limited research exploring the role the community palliative care CNS in providing education, making this study timely.
The aim of this study was to explore the role of the community palliative care CNS as educator.
Hermeneutic phenomenology, using semi-structured interviews with a convenience sample of eight community palliative care CNSs was the approach used. Formal ethical approval was obtained and all participants provided written informed consent. Colaizzi's framework for analysis provided a structured and transparent approach to data analysis. A summary of the findings were verified by the participants to enhance the credibility of interpretation presented here.
Data analysis identified three main themes; conflict of expectations, credibility as a teacher and making the education role work. This study highlighted a team approach may address the conflict of expectations between the role specifications and practice reality.
The CNS has a role in education. However for some CNSs, providing informal education rather than formal education may be appropriate. If the community palliative care CNS provides formal education, they require the knowledge and skills to deliver it effectively. The role of the CNS in palliative care education in the community should respond to personal, professional and local needs.

5 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Managing and administering medications to relieve pain and symptoms are common, important responsibilities for informal caregivers of patients receiving end-of-life care at home. However, little is known about how hospice providers prepare and support caregivers with medication-related tasks. This qualitative study explores the key approaches that hospice providers use to facilitate medication management for caregivers. Semistructured, open-ended interviews were conducted with 22 providers (14 nurses, four physicians, and four social workers) from four hospice organizations around an urban setting in the midwestern U.S. Based on the interviews, the following five key approaches emerged, constituting how the hospice team collectively helped caregivers manage medications: 1) establishing trust; 2) providing information; 3) promoting self-confidence; 4) offering relief (e.g., provided in-home medication assistance, mobilized supportive resources, and simplified prescriptions); and 5) assessing understanding and performance. Each hospice discipline used multiple approaches. Nurses emphasized tailoring information to individual caregivers and patients, providing in-home assistance to help relieve caregivers, and assessing caregivers' understanding and performance of medication management during home visits. Physicians simplified medication prescriptions to alleviate burden and reassured caregivers using their perceived medical authority. Social workers facilitated medication management by providing emotional support to promote self-confidence and mobilizing resources in caregivers' support networks and the community at large. Hospice nurses, physicians, and social workers identified distinct, yet overlapping, approaches in aiding caregivers with medication management. These findings emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary teamwork among hospice providers. Future research should investigate how common, standardized, effective, and efficient these approaches are in practice.
    Journal of pain and symptom management 06/2012; 43(6):1060-71. DOI:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.06.025 · 2.80 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background:Hospice providers need to ensure that informal, unpaid caregivers can safely manage medications to alleviate pain and distressing symptoms in patients near the end of life.Aim:This study characterizes hospice providers' self-reported experiences and approaches to helping caregivers' medication management for home hospice patients.Design:Survey with mixed-method analysis.Setting/Participants:Surveys were administered to a convenience sample of 98 hospice providers (74 nurses, 6 physicians, 11 social workers, 7 chaplains) from 5 Chicago-based agencies in the United States.Results:Among respondents, 67% rated ensuring proper medication management as "most important" in hospice care delivery, and 33% reported frequently encountering caregivers with problems managing medications. To assess if caregivers had problems managing medications, two categories of approaches emerged from the data: prospective approaches and retrospective warning signs when a problem occurred (e.g. identifying medication nonadherence after observing a sudden patient health decline). Overall, 42% reported using at least one prospective approach, while 38% reported only retrospective signs. To help caregivers manage medications, three categories of approaches emerged: teaching to increase knowledge, supporting existing or simplifying medication management process, and counseling to overcome attitudinal barriers. Overall, 6% reported approaches from all three categories. About 28% frequently experienced difficulty teaching/supporting caregivers with medication management. As much as 47% believed that they would benefit "to a great extent" from additional resources to help caregivers.Conclusions:Supporting caregivers in medication management is considered important, yet challenging, to hospice providers. Additional resources may be needed to help providers consistently and effectively teach, support, and assess caregivers' medication management.
    Palliative Medicine 11/2012; 27(4). DOI:10.1177/0269216312465650 · 2.86 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Studies establish that many incurably ill people would prefer to die at home, whether their final home is their own home or a nursing home. Experience shows that the professionals in palliative care at the basis level need to increase their competences. The purpose of this literature review is to examine experiences with interventions regarding the development of competencies within community palliative care services - in other words, at the individual work places. Method: The study has been carried out as a literature review of international databases (PubMed/Medline, CHINAL, PsycInfo) with selected key words. Results: The review of the literature identified 15 publications which dealt with interventions regarding education and competence building. The publications represent individual studies, only two of which were controlled. All conclude that competence building has a positive effect according to the professionals. It is unknown whether or how patients and relatives feel a positive effect from the interventions just as it is unknown how the development of competencies has actually led to a more developed practice. The effect of local competence building in palliative care in the primary sector is lacking. Methods are needed to further examinations of how a competency has actually led to a more developed practice.
    Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences 01/2013; 27(4). DOI:10.1111/scs.12020 · 0.89 Impact Factor

Similar Publications