October 26, 2021
News for nurses providing hospice and palliative careSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
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Top Story
Palliative care consultations before the last 30 days of life and screening for distressing physical symptoms in the last 30 days of life were rated as both highly important and highly feasible for the care of children at the end of life, according to a study in JCO Oncology Practice. Researchers surveyed clinicians who care for pediatric patients with cancer, parents who lost children to cancer and patient advocates to determine the importance and feasibility of quality measures for pediatric end-of-life care.
Full Story: Clinical Advisor (10/25) 
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Hospice & Palliative Care
A review in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found many patients with serious skin illnesses do not receive early palliative care interventions. Palliative care is more useful when it is delivered early and in integrated ways to address physical and psychosocial symptoms as well as spiritual and cultural needs, lead author Leah Thompson said.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (10/21) 
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Everyone grieves differently, but what can help is describing what was lost, naming what has changed and envisioning the future, writes Nikki Moberly, a coach at BetterUp. "There isn't a way to short-cut the grief process or avoid the pain of grief -- the only way forward is to go through it," Moberly writes.
Full Story: BetterUp Blog (10/21) 
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Dr. Samuel Brown, a researcher and ICU physician, read accounts of the "good death" before the Civil War and wondered what was lacking in intensive care units where he practiced. Brown's book, "Through the Valley of Shadows: Living Wills, Intensive Care, and Making Medicine Human," envisions a compassionate ICU to support patients at the end of life as well as strategies to help patients, family and health care professionals address human needs before, during and after serious illness.
Full Story: Utah Public Radio (10/21) 
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Dr. Tyler Johnson, an oncologist, reflects on what matters to his patients as their last moments approach, and it is never "dollars or degrees, positions or power."
Full Story: San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (tiered subscription model) (10/21) 
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Nursing & Professional Development
The loss of several nurses made Lumina Hospice & Palliative Care in Corvallis, Ore., turn away patients or make them wait until they could be safely enrolled. Across the US, hospice staff shortages are getting worse, and many hospices are offering nurses sign-on bonuses and temporarily increasing caseloads.
Full Story: The New York Times (10/16) 
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The demand for nurses, which was already high, has skyrocketed during the pandemic, but the number of slots in nursing schools remains small. One of the big factors is the availability of faculty, who are required to have advanced degrees and don't make as much money as their counterparts in hospitals.
Full Story: National Public Radio (10/25) 
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Policy and Trends
Greater access to specialists offering alternative pain treatment decreases opioid use, according to a study analyzing opioid initiation trends presented at a meeting of the American Neurological Association. Better support mechanisms are needed to aid providers having difficulty with pain management, said Chun Chieh Lin, an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan Medical School.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (10/21) 
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HPNA News
Is taking an ELNEC course on your bucket list? This is the year to do it! Save on days off and travel expenses by attending virtually! Join HPNA on Dec. 2-3, 2021 for either the pediatric or adult ELNEC Train-the-Trainer course. These courses provide nurses with education in palliative care preparing them to teach the information to practicing nurses and other healthcare professionals in their community. Early Bird registration ends Nov. 2. Attendees can earn 14.75 NCPD hours and 4.0 Category 1 Pharm credits. Learn more and register today.
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The official podcast of HPNA brings you conversations with experts in the field of hospice and palliative care. Tune into the latest episode, Palliative Nursing Acute to Post Acute Transitions in Care with guest Jennifer Gentry, DNP, ANP-BC, ACHPN, FPCN, of Duke University. This episode addresses the importance of transitions in care for patients with serious illness and their families, challenges encountered during transitions in care, at-risk patient populations, and how to best address the challenges encountered during care transitions.
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It is remarkable how powerful a force simple curiosity can be.
Susan Hill,
writer
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