Palliative nursing practitioners are the advanced practice nurses that treat patients that have life threatening conditions. These nurses assess the needs of the patient and diagnose health challenges. Palliative nurse practitioners are skilled clinicians that are knowledgeable about a wide variety of medical conditions. Their role is to provide emotional support to the patients as well as family members that are facing devastating illnesses.
Palliative nurse practitioners offer primary care services to those patients that have terminal diagnoses. These nurses work in a variety of settings. They offer their services in medical offices, hospitals, patient homes, and in-patient hospice facilities. They assess and treat symptoms and aim to promote maximum level of independence and wellness for patients that have terminal conditions. They also prescribe medication within the scope of practice for their jurisdiction. However, specific roles do vary depending on the workplace setting as well as jurisdiction.
Most of the palliative nursing practitioners usually work with adults. Even though palliative nurse practitioners can use their expertise for caring for patients of different ages, they most commonly deal with geriatric patients and older adults.
Palliative care nursing practitioners usually encounter the following medical illnesses: dementia, neurological disorders, advanced heart disease, and cancer. Palliative care practitioners sometimes also encounter patients who are suffering from advanced kidney, liver, and respiratory ailments as well as serious injuries on a regular basis.
Palliative care nurses help to come up with treatment plans that are aimed at relieving nausea, pain, and difficulties breathing. These professionals treat people that have serious wounds and seizures. Palliative care nurses also arrange for various comfort measures including palliative chemotherapy and palliative radiation, which are useful in relieving pain and distress of cancer patients. They come up with multifaceted treatment plans that encompass the body, mind, and spiritual interventions.
Palliative nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses that have completed specialized course work at either the Doctorate or Masterís degree level. A proposal is in the works that would require the minimal entry level for nursing practitioners to have a Doctorate of Nursing degree. Prior to this proposal being adopted, individual state governments must first make rulings.
Palliative nurse practitioners can order referrals for diagnostic tests, treatments, and medical services. They usually prescribe therapies, exercises, and diets for the patients that are suffering from serious conditions. The capacities for prescribing medications vary depending on individual state rules. Palliative care nurses have the option to operate independently in some jurisdictions. However, in most places, the palliative care nurses work hand in hand with doctors.
Ultimately, the role of the palliative care nurses goes beyond simply providing comfort to those who are dying. Their role has more to do with living through meticulous attention to pain control as well as other symptoms, supporting cultural, spiritual, and emotional needs.
Palliative nursing practitioners play a critical role when it comes to caring for those with terminal ailments. They work in a variety of settings and conditions and play a wide variety of roles. If you have a patient who is terminally ill then you need to engage the services of a palliative care nurse.