New Jersey-based AtlantiCare's No One Dies Alone program trains volunteers from the community to be there at the bedside at the end of life for people who don't have any loved ones in the area. Volunteers sit with patients in two- to four-hour shifts and play music, read to them or just sit in silence with them.
Cardiologists may be waiting too long to refer patients to palliative care, according to a three-year study that included 1,801 people with cardiovascular disease. "Cardiologists, like many other clinicians, appear to think that palliative care just happens at the end of life, but actually palliative care can be appropriate at any stage of a serious or life-changing illness," said Dr. Arif Kamal, senior author of the study in JAMA Network Open.
The CDC's 2016 opioid prescribing guidelines are keeping some hospice and palliative care patients from getting the medicines they need, writes Terri Maxwell, chief clinical officer at Turn-Key Health. "While caution when prescribing opioids is appropriate, it's important to work against the reversals in the progress made over the past two decades to effectively use opioids to treat pain in end-of-life care," Maxwell writes.
There are other treatment options available to patients with osteoarthritis besides nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Researchers have found scientific support for drinking milk, massage using with lavender essential oils and the practice of tai chi.
Bobette Fryslie, a registered nurse case manager at Care Initiatives Hospice in Cedar Falls, Iowa, has spent the past five years helping patients across eight counties. Fryslie travels to her patients to provide care whenever and wherever they need her, and she helps them have special moments, such as taking a patient to see his expansive garden for the last time.
About 62% of hospice and palliative care employees reported burnout, according to a recent study, due in part to the nature of the work. Scheduling employees so that they see the work as equitably distributed and offering support can help.
Maine legislators changed the proposed Right To Practice Complementary and Alternative Health Care Act after the Maine Nurse Practitioners Association said the bill's vague wording could create a class of unlicensed health care providers. The legislation now specifies that those practicing alternative medicine do not have the scope of practice of licensed professionals.
Physicians in Florida will not have to check hospice patients' drug histories before writing a new prescription for controlled substances under a measure passed by legislators and sent to the governor for consideration. Hospice physicians say the current law delays treatment.
An analysis of records from more than 50,000 patients who were eligible for either breast or colorectal cancer screening found that those who saw their doctors in the morning were more likely to be referred for screenings than patients who had an appointment later in the day. The findings, published in JAMA Network Open, suggest providers should consider automating some aspects of care, said researcher Dr. Mitesh Patel.
The House Budget Committee will hold a hearing next week to discuss single-payer health care, particularly its costs. The May 22 hearing will feature testimony from three Congressional Budget Office officials.
Are you a registered nurse new to the hospice and palliative nursing specialty? Do you have RNs at your agency new to the field? Introducing the RN Clinical Orientation Program, a training program specifically created for experienced nurses entering into hospice and palliative care. Discount opportunities are available to employers and agencies. Look under "Orientation Programs" on our eLearning page for more.
Wednesday, May 15, is the first day to register for the 13th Annual HPNA Clinical Practice Forum, taking place Sept. 19 to 21, 2019, at the Marriott City Center in Pittsburgh. The theme for this year's forum is "Transforming Palliative Care Through Professional and Clinical Leadership." Visit the event page for more information.