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Adult Nursing PracticeUsing evidence in care$
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Ian Bullock, Jill Macleod Clark, and Joanne Rycroft-Malone

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199697410

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199697410.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 27 May 2022

Managing End-of-Life Care

Managing End-of-Life Care

(p.302) 18 Managing End-of-Life Care
Adult Nursing Practice

John W. Albarran

Marika Hills

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the fundamental nursing role of managing end-of-life care. Death is as fundamental a part of life as living, and while caring for a dying patient and their family is demanding, complex, and emotionally exhausting, it can also be a gratifying and privileged experience for nurses. Specifically, nurses have a centre-stage role in leading and informing care delivery at the end of life. Care will typically embrace assessing the needs of the patient and family, providing symptom relief and comfort care, and providing cultural and spiritual support. Additionally, caring functions should also extend following death to caring for the deceased in a dignified manner and supporting the newly bereaved, demonstrating genuine concern, compassion, and effective communication skills (Hills and Albarran, 2010a; Maben et al., 2010). To examine the key themes and challenges of practice, it is important to understand the political, professional and societal influences, and contextual nature of death and dying in the UK. At present, there is neither a clear nor universally accepted definition of end-of-life care, but it is generally understood to be the care of a person who is identified as having failing health and who is in a progressive state of decline (Shipman et al., 2008). Establishing the last phase of a patient’s life can be a difficult and complex process, and this might occur:…● after the diagnosis of a life-limiting condition; ● during the transition or deterioration of a chronic disease illness; ● when there is an increasing frailty combined with greater dependence on care provision, particularly in the older adult; ● following a sudden infective episode, cardiac event, or a life-threatening accident….The last phase of end-of-life care is referred to as the dying phase. Consideration of the end-of-life care needs of people with chronic terminal conditions should begin at diagnosis, and must embrace after-death care and family support. Over the past century, progress and advancement in disease management, together with improvements in living standards, have resulted in changes to the national death profile, with currently two-thirds of the 0.5 million annual deaths in the UK occurring in people over 75 years of age.

Keywords:   antidepressants, benzodiazepines, capacity, death rattle, end-of-life care, glycopyrronium, incapacity, levomepromazine, midazolam

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