For National Palliative Care Week 2018 nurses have a key role in encouraging and educating Australians in conversations that consider “What matters most?”
“Many of us are hesitant to start a conversation about the decisions on where we wish to die, and when to die,” said Australian College of Nursing CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN.
“Nurses are advocates for individual patients and their communities and we have found that choice and dignity are priorities when it comes to end-of-life decision making.”
Figures from a survey conducted this week by Palliative Care Australia found 34 per cent of Australians found end of life options a difficult conversation to start, while 26 per cent had talked about their wishes for end of life with their family.
“Nurses are fundamental to these conversations as we are able to appropriately inform and support patients on their palliative care options. By having these conversations, Australians can be better prepared when the time comes,” said Adjunct Professor Ward.
“Older Australians are increasingly expressing their preference to age in place, which we now know to extend to being supported to die at home. This should be reflected in health care funding and training.
“Our health system must cater for individual patient choice, ensure people’s wishes are respected, and clearly delineate the roles and responsibilities of health care professionals.”