The duties of an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) vary in hospitals, but the major focus is to make sure that effective care is offered to patients. In this essay, attention will be paid to the quality and management of care that is required at the end of life. According to the American Nurses Association (2016), providing care and support at the end of life is an obligation of an APRN from the point of view of practice, education, administration, and research. It is not enough to follow treatment plans and help families in their intentions to support patients. Nurses must make decisions about care to relieve pain, promote comfort, and administer medications. The APRN provides effective care at the end of life by having discussions about death, advocating for additional education, supporting evidence-based materials for ethical care, and promoting work environments for families in post-death care.
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The provision of end-of-life care for patients and their families requires excellent knowledge and organization from APRNs. However, practical recommendations should also never be ignored because they contain the basics of palliative care. In the subcategory of practice, APRNs demonstrate their achievements by getting prepared to talk about death and ensure that patients, as well as families, have enough information about it, either it is impending or not. Planning is an integral part of palliative care, but progressive illnesses are hard to predict, and nurses understand that acute events may lead to death (Wheeler, 2016). Even being aware of such a terrible outcome, patients’ families are not always able to control their emotions, behaviors, and actions. Communication turns out to be a crucial aspect of care management (Schroeder & Lorenz, 2018). APRNs should be good at it by using appropriate words, choosing necessary looks and moves, clarifying all the details, or keeping silence if necessary.
Education is another important issue in palliative care according to which APRNs never stop trying to improve their knowledge and skills and investigate new areas of nursing. The experts of the American Nurses Association (2016) say that it is normal for nurses to advocate for additional education and participate in different academic programs. Taking into consideration the fact that APRNs prescribe medications and cooperate with other nurses to coordinate care and manage health conditions, they have to possess a high level of knowledge. In addition, the field of nursing continues developing regularly, and even the nurses with their Master’s degrees may need a new portion of knowledge, an understanding of cultural changes, and other social, ethical, and legal aspects of palliative care. Application to several academic facilities, communication with other nurses, and recommendations from the experts of the hospital departments can be helpful for an end-life caring nurse.
Research is not only a process for an APRN to be involved in but the quality with the help of which nurses strengthen their positions and complete their duties at a high level. There are many benefits of research for palliative care, and the possibility to support decision-making by using evidence enhances the reduction of unclear points and doubtful aspects. APRNs, as well as other nurses in a hospital, should possess a unique position to address and advocate ethical and legal issues of palliative care, as well as recognize the rights and interests of patients and make transitions between curative to palliative treatment plans (Schroeder & Lorenz, 2018). Cooperation between nurses from different hospitals is a unique opportunity for an APRN to succeed as a researcher, a communicator, and patient-centered employees. Evidence from other cases, statistics, and outcomes can be easily found online, and thus, research activities are not complex for professional and novice nurses.
Finally, administrative work cannot be ignored by APRNs in their practice. On the one hand, a patient is a core figure in palliative care for a nurse. However, in some cases, nurses neglect or forget to pay enough attention to patients’ families. To be a professional and supportive nurse in the chosen field, the improvement of quality of life has to be promoted among both patients and families (Wheeler, 2016). The American Nurses Association (2016) recommended focusing on the extension of care through and after the patient’s death for families. This duty includes different activities, depending on families and their lifestyles. For example, a nurse may continue visits to demonstrate their respect and recognition of their loss. In some cases, additional care should be offered to other family members. Finally, an APRN has to remember that other duties cannot be neglected and not expand care at the expense of another patient’s case.
In palliative care settings, APRNs are involved in a variety of activities from relieving pain in a patient to supporting a family after the patient’s death. In any case, all the services have to be developed at a high level, and the quality of work in one field must not determine the quality of work in another field. Education, research, administration, and practice are the spheres where an APRN should continue development and improvement. Sometimes, it is enough to turn on the PC and surf the web for a couple of minutes, and sometimes, more people and books have to be involved in a working process to achieve the best possible results.
American Nurses Association. (2016). Position statement: Nurses’ roles and responsibilities in providing care and support at the end of life. Web.
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Schroeder, K., & Lorenz, K. (2018). Nursing and the future of palliative care. Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing, 5(1), 4-8.
Wheeler, M. S. (2016). Primary palliative care for every nurse practitioner. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 12(10), 647-653.