Raising awareness of palliative care and the needs of older people in a Colombian gold mining town…

Sandra Patricia Silva Preciado is a physiotherapist in geriatric psychomotricity and palliative care in Bogotá, Colombia. Moved by the plight of older people in a town in Colombia, she volunteered to set up two training workshops, one for caregivers and health professionals and the other for older people to raise awareness of the needs of an ageing population and palliative care. 

Sandra Patricia Silva Preciado.

The town of Buriticá in Antioquia, northwest Colombia, is a gold mining hotspot. Since the time of the conquistadors, it has suffered the duality of the richness of the gold mines with the many misfortunes that entails: rising crime, a nightlife culture, alcohol and prostitution. Most of the young people have migrated to other parts of the country, leaving a mainly older population who must deal with the conflict of mining, both illegal and legal.

Aware of this sad reality, I made a proposal to provide volunteer support to Buriticá’s programme for seniors, ‘Centro Vida’, by offering training. I developed two workshops: one targeted at family caregivers and healthcare professionals, and the second for older people who are part of ‘Centro Vida’.

The first workshop lasted two hours and 32 professionals and caregivers participated. The main objective was to create more awareness of palliative care and the ageing process in adults. To begin the conversation about palliative care, I started with an experiential exercise. I guided the participants by saying:

“Close your eyes and remember the last time you were sick. Remember where you were, how you felt, who took care of you or helped you.”

Then I asked them to share their experiences and finally asked them what they knew about palliative care. Most were not familiar with the concept and had many questions, so I shared information and messages of encouragement. The most important message was that palliative care could generate quality of life by reducing suffering.

This had a great impact on participants. Some were moved to tears because remembering past illnesses and vulnerability generated empathy with these life circumstances. We all agreed to be more sensitive and aware. Participants felt that they had gained a better understanding of growing older, the importance of adapting behaviour and treatment, and establishing relationships with older people, and they promised to put this into practice. The group also committed to sharing what they had learned with family and friends, and to raise awareness of the need to care for older people and their inclusion in society.

We reflected on the importance of recognising that everyone would reach old age, hence the importance of encouraging participation in appropriate interventions to increase social activity for older people in order to avoid isolation, suffering and loneliness.

‘I am not old – I have life’

Sandra and one of the workshop participants take a break.

Directed at older people, the second two-hour workshop was attended by 50 participants. Here, my objective was to understand the needs of older people and translate these to the professionals, as well as to raise awareness of palliative care. The workshop began with a video about ‘teamwork’. Participants shared their needs and we concluded with the message that ‘union is strength’ – that to achieve their goals they should work together and take care of each other. This was followed by a presentation called ‘I am not old, I have life’, which motivates and empowers the viewer. The video invites us to reflect upon our realities and undertake new projects using wisdom with the experience acquired over the years.

Some of the problems faced by older people were: a poor health service, abuse by public officials in the delivery of pensions and other services, lack of resources for their wellbeing, psychological and physical abuse generated by family members, malnutrition, lack of medication, homelessness and abandonment. Additionally, some also faced problems particular to this region, such as being run over by motorcycles of miners and being forced to remain in their homes, or invasion of their homes, by illegal miners.

Outcomes of the workshops

After the workshop, participants understood the importance of empowering themselves.

Seniors expressed that they had not heard anything about palliative care before attending the workshop. (These are mainly people from rural areas who had previously held only very basic health posts in the countryside). After the workshop, they understood the importance of empowering themselves. They agreed to make a list of workshop attendees in order to create a local support network enabling people to check on each other’s wellbeing, to solve any emergencies as well as to reduce loneliness. The support network is supervised by recently retired, and committed, volunteer leaders. All participants expressed their fear of not wanting to die alone and said that if nobody has cared for them when they are alive then it’s unlikely they will when they die. Finally, they stressed the importance of a dignified death and burial.

The workshops were important in raising awareness about specialised and optimal care for older people among those who care for them. A lack of knowledge can sometimes lead to mistreatment of older people, hence the importance of training for caregivers and health professionals and raising awareness throughout the country. This must also be supported by workshops for older people themselves, so that they feel their voices are being heard, that they can have an impact on the programmes that exist in their villages, and that they know their rights will empower their quality of life and wellbeing.

Links

Posted in ADVOCACY & POLICY, EDUCATION & TRAINING, NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL REPORTS, VOLUNTEERING IN PALLIATIVE CARE | Tagged , | Leave a comment

End-of-Life Essentials: Increasing professionals’ skills and confidence in end-of-life care

Kim Devery leads a major national education and knowledge translation project End-of-Life Essentials. It’s free and evidence based, and aims to increase professionals’ skills and confidence in end-of-life care in Australian acute hospitals.

Kim Devery.

In many developed regions of the world, populations are ageing, and incidences of chronic complex illnesses are increasing.  In developed countries like Australia, heart, lung, vascular and cancer illnesses, plus dementia, are leading causes of death. (1) People live with these chronic conditions for many years before death. These illnesses, while not curable, can be managed and patients’ lives prolonged for some time as mortality data show.(2) Most Australians live a very long life and then die in hospitals. (3)  Many clinicians who work in hospitals have had little training in end-of-life care.(4)

Hospitals continue to be the place where people go to when health crisis occurs.

Doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who work in hospitals are increasingly required to provide care and service to older people with complex needs who may be at the end of life. Balancing treatment of end-stage chronic complex conditions with identification of, and preparation for, the end of life are the skills in which many healthcare professionals are inadequately educated. Hospital systems and clinicians have become so wonderfully skilled at treating chronic complex illness and prolonging life, that entering into discussions about the inevitable end of life or dying may seem rather superfluous. However, we will all die. For professionals, learning how to begin conversations about future care needs and likely prognosis is key – along with effective teamwork, recognising and responding to suffering, and compassionate care when death is imminent.

Knowing when and how to introduce and discuss end-of-life issues and concerns can be a challenge. Being prepared is vital. Responding to national needs, End-of-Life Essentials is based on the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care’s National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for safe and high-quality end-of-life care, and the Commission provides ongoing advice to the project.  Close collaborations on a range of strategic and research matters are sustained with the Research Centre for Palliative Care, Death and Dying, and CareSearch, both at Flinders University.

More than 15,000 doctors, nurses and allied health professionals are engaged with End-of-Life Essentials, a free, peer-reviewed and evidence-based online education on end-of-life care in hospitals.

For healthcare professionals knowing when and how to introduce and discuss end-of-life issues and concerns requires confidence.  Responding to patient questions like What will happen to me? or How long do I have left? or How do I tell my son? require confidence and skills. Also vital is being confident in knowing how to relieve a variety of multifactorial symptoms. These skills, confidence and capacity to deliver end-of-life care are increasingly needed by doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who work in hospitals. End-of-Life Essentials modules cover a range of clinically relevant and evidence-based learning materials with quizzes, evidence links and educational videos. Clinicians are encouraged to critically examine their own practice and build on their individual expertise across a wide range of issues which are fundamental to quality and safe end-of-life care in hospitals.

Topics in the education include:

  • Dying, a normal part of life.
  • Patient centred communication and shared decision-making.
  • Recognising the end of life.
  • End-of-life care in Emergency Departments.
  • Paediatric end-of-life care.
  • End-of-life care in chronic complex illness.
  • Imminent death – how to respond.
  • Planning end-of-life care – goals of care.
  • Teams and continuity for the patient.
  • Responding to concerns and when to refer to specialist services.

End-of-Life Essentials has also created new resources to assist healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a new educational video outlining critical conversations. This video aims to empower health professionals to have goals of care discussions with patients or families during the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources can be accessed at our website.

End-of-Life Essentials is funded by the Australian Government, Department of Health.

References

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Deaths in Australia: Leading underlying causes of death by sex, 2017, accessed 01/01/2020 https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/life-expectancy-death/deaths-in-australia/contents/leading-causes-of-death
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Deaths in Australia: Deaths by sex and age group, 2017 accessed 01/01/2020 https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/life-expectancy-death/deaths-in-australia/contents/age-at-death
  3. Palliative Care Australia, (2018).Palliative Care Service Development Guidelines, accessed 7/02/2020 https://palliativecare.org.au/wp-content/uploads/dlm_uploads/2018/02/PalliativeCare-Service-Delivery-2018_web-1.pdf
  4. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. (2015) National Consensus Statement: essential elements for safe and high-quality end-of-life care. Sydney: ACSQHC.

More about the author…

Kim Devery has worked as a nurse in Africa, USA, UK and Australia across a wide variety of clinical practice settings including palliative care. She is currently Associate Professor in Palliative and Supportive Services, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, Australia, where she leads the strategic development of the palliative care postgraduate courses. She is also project lead of End-of-Life Essentials.

Links

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Palliative care and neurology in Sri Lanka  – another first!

For the first time ever, palliative care featured in a neurology congress in Sri Lanka.  Professor David Oliver, Honorary Professor at the University of Kent, UK, and Chair of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Reference Group on Neurology and Palliative Care, explains.


Professor David Oliver.

Over a long career inpalliative medicine in the UK I developed a special interest in neurological palliative care. This, combined with my role as Chair of the EAPC Reference Group on Neurology and Palliative Care, has led to many invitations over the years to international neurology congresses, including Africa, Australia, Europe, India – and now Sri Lanka. What is most encouraging is seeing how neurology in palliative care is receiving an increasingly high profile at global meetings.

At the end of February, I was delighted to be invited to speak at the 13th Annual Academic Sessions of the Association of Sri Lankan Neurologists­ – the first time that palliative care had been discussed at a neurology congress in Sri Lanka. The three-day meeting, held in Colombo, was organised under the presidency of Professor Thashi Chang.

At a pre-congress session I talked of the principles of palliative care and about palliative care for neurological patients. Attended by more than 250 people, including neurologists, physicians, trainees in neurology and medical students, the session was very successful with a high level of interest and evaluation.

Over the next two days I was able to share experiences with 250 neurologists and physicians within a wide programme, including presentations on a broad range of neurological conditions. The chief guest, Professor Angela Vincent FRS, from Oxford and London, spoke about her experiences within neurology and, in particular, in the immunology of myasthenia gravis. I led a session on ethical issues, considering the withholding and withdrawing of treatment at the end of life.

It was a privilege and pleasure to join in this meeting with other visiting speakers  from the UK, Singapore and Australia. There was great interest in palliative care and I hope this will enable the neurologists to continue and strengthen their links with the developing palliative care services for non-cancer patients in Sri Lanka, so that patients and families will benefit.

David speaking at the 13th Annual Academic Sessions of the Association of Sri Lankan Neurologists­ – the first time that palliative care had been discussed at a neurology congress in Sri Lanka.

The meeting was held in the shadow of the developing coronavirus crisis and one speaker from South Korea had to cancel his attendance at the meeting. Another speaker from Australia, who was unable to attend due to other issues, presented online through live streaming, which was very successful. There were social events with a spectacular display of a variety of Sri Lankan dances at the inauguration ceremony, and a lovely meal in the splendour of the former colonial governor’s residence, now a hotel.

It was a wonderful experience to join in such a positive meeting with enthusiastic practitioners, and share the role of palliative care at this time. I am sure that there will be further development and collaboration over the coming years.

Links and resources

 

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CovPall: A new study of the palliative care response to COVID-19

A recent post from the team at Cicely Saunders Institute (King’s College London) announced plans for a new research collaboration, CovPall. Today, Catherine Walshe and Nancy Preston from the International Observatory on End of Life Care tell us more about CovPall and the survey that will map and understand the response of specialist palliative care providers and hospices to COVID-19. 

Catherine Walshe (left) and Nancy Preston.

COVID-19 is likely to present a challenge to the way we deliver palliative care. The virus and the disease it causes is so new and we have little evidence – neither about how palliative care services have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, nor whether care has been effective. It is likely that expertise in palliative care can contribute to effective symptom management, to anticipatory care, to enhanced communication with patients and their families, helping people to die as well as possible, and care into bereavement and beyond. It is also highly likely that the response of palliative care services may be different to the ways that people usually work, responding to challenges in face-to-face contact, the need for remote consultations, potentially less contact with families, working in different settings, and with likely staffing constraints.

In response to these challenges, it is important that we move rapidly to understand the way that palliative care is provided, any difficulties, and effective solutions to both service-related and patient and family-related issues. Robust, ethically conducted research is required that can report rapidly to ensure that we are sharing innovative practices, assessing their effectiveness, and enabling the best possible care to be provided. In response to this, a team of researchers have developed the CovPall study, ‘Rapid evaluation of the COVID-19 pandemic response in palliative and end of life care: national delivery, workforce and symptom management (CovPall)’, to address some of these questions. The research is led by Professor Irene Higginson and is a collaboration between researchers at the Cicely Saunders Institute (King’s College London), International Observatory on End of Life Care (Lancaster University), Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre (Hull/York Medical School), and the Martin House Research Centre (York University).

The CovPall survey – open to all clinical leads across the globe

There are two parts to CovPall. The first is an international electronic survey of those providing palliative care in any setting (such as hospices, palliative care units, acute hospitals, community and home settings). This includes both adult and children’s services. The aim is to map and understand the response of specialist palliative care providers and hospices to COVID-19 including their workforce and volunteer deployment, service and technology innovations, clinical policies and practices, challenges and successes. This survey is open now, and our research ethics approvals from King’s College London mean that it is open to all clinical leads to complete for their services, including those outside the UK. We are delighted at the response we have received so far, from across the globe. We can send you information about the survey if you email us at palliativecare@kcl.ac.uk (with CovPall in the subject line) or you can look at our webpage for more details. We are delighted that the EAPC is supporting us in this work and you can find information on their website too.

CovPall study – an opportunity to compare and contrast approaches to care

The second part of CovPall will be a study of those with COVID-19 who are receiving palliative care. We will be asking for information on a small cohort of patients from a range of selected services. We plan to examine the characteristics of those receiving care, the care they receive, and how effective it is, for example at ameliorating symptoms. We are currently in the process of seeking NHS (National Health Service) approvals for this study. We are happy to speak with those who want to collect these research data in their own country, but recognise that you will need to apply for your own research ethics or governance approvals. We can share our materials to facilitate your own approvals. The data from this study should also harmonise with data we know is being collected in service evaluations, for example the RAPID series in Australia, so that it is easier to compare and contrast approaches to care.

The findings from these studies will help the Public Health Response to the COVID-19 pandemic, informing the optimal ways that palliative care services can respond, provide a better evidence-based guide to effective symptom management, and improve management across a wide variety of settings.

To find out more about the CovPall study visit our webpage here. Please share your views in the online survey.

More about the authors…

Professor Catherine Walshe and Professor Nancy Preston are Co-directors of the International Observatory on End of Life Care, Lancaster University, UK.
Follow them on Twitter:
Catherine Walshe @cewalshe  Nancy Preston @NancyPreston16

Some resources relating to Covid-19 and palliative care

Read more about Coronavirus and the Palliative Care Response on the EAPC blog. More posts to follow soon …

 

Submit your late-breaking abstract on Covid-19 and the Palliative Care Response for 11th EAPC World Research Congress Online 7-9 October 2020
We’ve reopened our abstract system specifically for abstracts relating to COVID-19 and the Palliative Care response. Find out more and submit your abstract here. Deadline: 31 July 2020.

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Together we can – the need for palliative care services to join forces in times of COVID-19

Dr Zipporah Ali is Chief Executive Director of Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA), which represents and supports hospices and palliative care providers in Kenya. KEHPCA has been involved with the Ministry of Health of Kenya in developing the first National Cancer Control Strategy as well as the first National Guidelines for Cancer Management in Kenya. 


“If a cure is not found quickly, the impact of this disease will have disastrous results to all, rich and poor, young and old, sick and well.”  (Palliative Care Nurse, Kenya).

 

Dr Zipporah Ali.

Countries across the world are all struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. These are extremely challenging times for all, especially those in leadership and those working in health care. No doubt this is a situation that cuts across so many sectors within a country. Leaders are struggling to make the right decisions with very little knowledge of a new deadly pandemic. Healthcare workers and other frontline workers are doing the best they can with minimal or no supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), inadequate knowledge of COVID-19 and poor infrastructure. This is felt even more in countries with weak/broken healthcare systems.

Amid all these challenges, the need for a holistic approach of care for those affected with the virus is important. Thus, those infected, their families and people living with pre-existing conditions and older people, will need comprehensive care that not only addresses physical symptoms of the disease for those with the virus, but also psychosocial and spiritual support to the sick, their families, the healthcare workers and volunteers as well. In fact, since this is affecting everyone, there is a need for psychosocial, spiritual and grief support for all humankind.  We are all, in one way or other, affected.


“We need urgent supplies of protective gear for palliative staff handling COVID-19 patients. Urgent training of palliative care staff in handling COVID-19 patients.”  (Hospice Nurse, Kenya).


Fears and concerns highlighted in hospice and palliative care survey

Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) conducted a survey of 16 hospices and palliative care units in public, mission and private hospitals across the country. From the survey, palliative care clinicians have genuine concerns both for themselves and for their clients. These are real fears and concerns that are hindering them from providing care for those in need. Fears of: getting infected; infecting their clients because of lack of appropriate personal protective equipment; not having enough information on COVID-19, among others.

Patients too have fears and concerns for themselves and their loved ones. They are afraid that they may not receive the care they need for their pre-existing conditions; they may not have access to medications, may be affected with COVID-19, that they may spread it to their loved ones and that they could die alone with no family member with them. Cancer patients on chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy are worried that they will not complete their treatment and that all funds will focus on COVID-19 as a priority.

They have financial fears as well. These include: being able to access or afford their medications; being a burden to their families; bread winners in the family not being able to earn due to isolation and curfews.

How are we, as the national palliative care organisation, responding to these fears and concerns?

We have strongly advocated for palliative care to be integrated into the COVID-19 response through: providing palliative care guidelines for COVID-19 management; working with our Ministry of Health/Mental Health Department to engage palliative care clinicians in providing psychosocial support to those affected (patients, families and healthcare workers). This also includes the rehabilitation of those who have recovered and helping them back into their community by addressing stigma-related issues. 

Josephine and Mark, staff members of KEHPCA, packaging masks to go to hospices.

We are also providing: credible information on COVID-19 (brochures, leaflets, posters, online training), PPE to enable palliative care workers to see patients and/or their family members through support by our international partners. We are truly grateful to the True Colours Trust, Global Partners in Care and Open Society Foundations for the support they have given us to enable us to support hospices and palliative care units in public and mission hospitals. We are encouraging use of modern technology for communication with patients and families and providing airtime and smart phones to hospices to enable communication, including video communication if need be. We are also working to form systems for psychosocial support to patients/families, as well as palliative care clinicians and volunteers, and developing bereavement support programmes with our other partners like Faraja Cancer Support.

This is a fight that requires we all join forces to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19.   Pamoja twaweza – together we can


Links and resources

Read more posts about Coronavirus and the Palliative Care Response on the EAPC blog. More posts to follow soon…

Submit your late-breaking abstract on Covid-19 and the Palliative Care Response for 11thEAPC World Research Congress Online. Deadline: 31 July 2020. Please submit abstract here.

 

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Building compassionate communities – a new resource

If you’ve ever wondered where to turn for guidance on building a compassionate community – here’s the answer. Libby Sallnow and Joachim Cohen, on behalf of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Reference Group on Public Health and Palliative Care, explain.

Dr Libby Sallnow (left) and Prof Joachim Cohen.

The notion of investing in compassionate communities as a strategy to build capacity in society around death, dying, loss and care is gaining momentum across the world and remains more important than ever in the context of the current pandemic. To guide and facilitate the initiation of new compassionate community initiatives, the EAPC Reference Group on Public Health and Palliative Care  and Public Health Palliative Care International (PHPCI) have created a new overview of existing resources and tools.

The compassionate community approach stems from the realisation that, in order to tackle the population health challenges surrounding serious illness, dying and loss, it does not suffice to solely invest in more specialised palliative care, engage more professional caregivers and improve health services. The greater part of people’s experiences of living with and dying from a serious illness, and providing informal care, takes place outside of the formal healthcare institutions. Hence, in order to improve these experiences, complementary strategies are needed that create a broader capacity development in care for the dying and support of those caring or grieving. Such strategies need to go beyond services and embrace the idea that end-of-life care is everyone’s responsibility.

Individuals, schools, workplaces, civic organisations, and local governments across the world are running with this idea and are engaging in a number of actions to develop compassionate communities. However, a common problem faced is the lack of resources that showcase such approaches in action, detailing how to build support for such approaches, how to initiate projects in different settings and what actions have worked before. Indeed, with the compassionate community movement being a relatively recent approach and with foundational work being done in various sites across the world, we felt the need to create an overview of the increasing number of resources and tools that now exist to support the field.

Guiding and facilitating new compassionate community initiatives: Some of the resources and tools available from the webpage http://phpci.info/tools

So where do you start to build a compassionate community?

Suppose you want to start up a compassionate community; to create a compassionate workplace, school or even a compassionate municipality or city… Or suppose you want to organise public events to increase awareness and openness around palliative care, or educate a general (lay) audience in palliative care and end of life aid skills. Where do you look for guidance and inspiration? This set of evolving collated resources draws on global experiences and is the place to start.

The resource page can be found here and we welcome suggestions and comments as it grows and develops. We want it to reflect current global practice so do please get in contact as new resources become available so we can ensure they are shared as widely as possible.

Links and resources

More about the authors
Libby Sallnow
is Consultant in Palliative Medicine in London and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at St Christopher’s Hospice and University College London (UCL). Contact Libby Sallnow by email.  Follow Libby on Twitter @libby_sallnow

Joachim Cohen is Professor at the End-of-Life Care Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels. Contact Joachim Cohen by email. Follow the End-of-Life Research Group on Twitter @eolc_research

 

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How nursing history impacts on the modern day profession

Continuing our series to celebrate the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020 and the benefits that nursing and midwifery bring to the health of the global population…

To mark this world first, the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) is publishing a special series of 12 monthly posts to honour the work of nurses who work in palliative care and draw attention to several issues that are linked to this crucial workforce. 

As today is the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, we are delighted to welcome as our guest writer, Professor Bridget Johnston, Florence Nightingale Foundation Clinical Professor of Nursing, University of Glasgow and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Scotland, UK.

Professor Bridget Johnston.

When I agreed to provide a post for the EAPC blog in this International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, who could have predicted the current situation with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the impact on palliative and end-of-life care globally. I reflect on how, now more than ever, we need experienced, trained nurses to care for people with palliative care needs, and who are nearing the end of life, as well as, their families and those close to them worldwide.

This post is part of the series to mark Florence Nightingale’s birthday on 12th May and the bicentenary of her birth. My role is unique in many ways: I am one of the few professors of palliative nursing in the world. I am also a clinical academic. We have only 0.1 per cent nurse clinical academics in the UK in comparison to 4.6 per cent of medical clinical academics, with similar or lower figures mirrored worldwide. Florence Nightingale, it could be argued, was the original clinical academic.

I am one of seven Florence Nightingale Foundation Clinical Professors of Nursing in the UK. My fellow Florence Nightingale professors share a common purpose of improving patient and nursing care and building capacity in nursing research across the UK, and wider across Europe and internationally with our collaborations. Our network also provides me, personally, with fellowship and support – important for all nurses.

Florence Nightingale was born on 12 May 1820. She is known as a British social reformer and statistician and, importantly, the founder of modern nursing. Still, in 2020, she is the most well-known nurse worldwide. She was a leader and a radical who believed that nurses needed to be ‘trained’ and not just plucked from the streets. She argued that collecting robust data could change practice for the better.

Florence Nightingale 1820-1910.
(Wikimedia Commons).

In 1860, Florence Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Florence Nightingale’s reforms and what we would now call feminism are still relevant today. I think she would be surprised how nursing is viewed today, particularly the ill-placed backlash towards the need for academic nursing, not least in our area of palliative and end-of-life care. We know that as nurses make up the largest proportion of the global health workforce, and are often the first point of contact for many people across all care settings, they are ideally positioned to improve the delivery of palliative and end-of-life care.

In her own care of the dying, Florence Nightingale often went beyond the call of duty. Her interest in the families of those who had died in the Crimean War led her to write them letters recounting their loved one’s final days and hours, recalling the person they were and giving comfort to those who mourned them. This mirrors the care we are providing in Glasgow with Covid-19 today, where nurses are connecting with relatives via virtual visiting and the mementoes at the end of life providing memories and a legacy for their loved ones when they die.

Celebrate the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020 on the EAPC blog #nurses2020 #midwives2020. View the series here and join us again in June when Dr Bart Cusveller from the Netherlands, will be our guest writer.  

Links and resources

Posted in Coronavirus and palliative care, International Year of Nurse & Midwife 2020, Nursing, PATIENT & FAMILY CARE | Tagged | Leave a comment