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Life to be LivedChallenges and choices for patients and carers in life-threatening illnesses$
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Catherine Proot and Michael Yorke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685011.001.0001

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Challenges for the professional carer

Challenges for the professional carer

(p.75) Chapter 9 Challenges for the professional carer
Life to be Lived

Catherine Proot

Michael Yorke

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers some of the challenges experienced by professionals who care for the seriously ill and the dying. Itrecommends ‘patient-centred care’ and reviews its range and focus, and the working out of the contrast between empathy and sympathy. The mobile and transient nature of the professional carer is recognised and some of the demands arising from this are considered including the importance of effective communication and confidentiality in a multidisciplinary team and what contributes to it. Time and organisational pressures impact strongly on matters such as privacy, case conferences and mutual support. The range is diverse. Some styles and objectives of counselling are discussed. Flexibility, priority management and judgement ‘on the hoof’ are viewed as important for professional carers. The role is exhausting physically and emotionally, and comment is made on the contemporary care standard for professionals. The importance of self-care, available advice and corporate support is strongly advocated.

Keywords:   patient-centred care, empathy, compassion fatigue, counselling, multidisciplinary team, seriously ill and dying, confidentiality, flexibility

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