Courage, Leadership, and End-of-Life Care

When Courage Counts

Karlene M. Kerfoot, PhD, RN, CNAA, FAAN


Nurs Econ. 2012;30(3):176-178. 

In This Article

Best Care for the Nursing and Caregiving Staff

Preparation is key in helping staff provide the best level of care. Without preparation and support, the ability to work in these emotionally intense situations is severely altered. Unit-based palliative care champions who provide content and support to other caregivers embed the work at the front-line. These specialists work with patients, families, and other caregivers to optimize the end-of-life experience. All too often, nurses are caught in the crossfire between families, physicians, system issues, and their own personal values. Angst that is generated from ethical dilemmas can quickly lead to compassion fatigue and suffering. Making sure nurses have access to nursing or hospital/system ethics committees, support, and advocacy for their work is what courageous leaders do.


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