The nurse practitioner role is ideally suited for palliative care practice: A qualitative descriptive study

Carmel M. Collins, Sandra P. Small


Palliative care (PC) is an approach to caring for individuals with life-threatening health conditions, with the focus being best quality of life (Hawley, 2017). It involves effective symptom management to address the physiological manifestations of diseases; interventions to promote the social, spiritual, and emotional well-being of patients and their families; and end-of-life (EOL) care to support patients’ greatest comfort and dignity when death is imminent (World Health Organization, 2011; Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance [WPCA], 2014). Palliative care is recommended not only for cancer, but for any chronic life-threatening condition; for example, heart and kidney failure and various neurological diseases (Hawley, 2017). With the high prevalence and expected growth of chronic diseases not only in Canada, but worldwide, the need for PC is great now and will become even more so in the future (Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association [CHPCA], 2014; Public Health Agency of Canada, 2016; WPCA, 2014). 

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