Palliative Nursing Summit: Nurses Leading Change and Transforming Primary Palliative Care:

Nursing's Role in Providing Pain and Symptom Management

Judith A. Paice, PhD, RN; Vanessa Battista, MS, RN, CPNP; Carol Ann Drick, PhD, RN, AHN-BC; Ellyn Schreiner, MPH, RN-BC, CHPN

Disclosures

Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing. 2018;20(1):30-35. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Effective pain and symptom management is a crucial part of the care of those with life-threatening illnesses and their family members. Nurses in all settings have a vital role in providing this essential care. A recent summit held on May 12, 2017, "Nurses Leading Change and Transforming Palliative Care," convened by the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and attended by leaders of 26 nursing organizations strongly endorsed the importance of nursing's role in pain and symptom management and developed an agenda to advance these efforts. The agreed-upon goals of pain and symptom treatment include care that is effective (as defined by the patient), efficient (delivered in a timely manner), and safe (reduced risk of respiratory depression, prevention and early management of adverse effects, as well as attention to methods to prevent diversion such as safe storage and disposal). Through an iterative process, desired patient outcomes and nursing actions were outlined to support effective pain and symptom management in primary palliative care. These recommendations were categorized as education, clinical care, research, and regulatory concerns. This article reports on the outcomes of this summit related to pain and symptom management.

Introduction

Effective pain and symptom management is a crucial part of the illness journey for those living with life-threatening illnesses and their loved ones. Pain relief and reduced symptom burden not only diminish the suffering encountered by those with advanced disease, but will also ease the grief experienced by loved ones after the person's death.[1,2] Nurses in all settings have a vital role in providing this essential care. A recent summit convened by the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and attended by leaders of 26 nursing organizations strongly endorsed the importance of nursing's role in pain and symptom management and developed an agenda to advance these efforts. The summit, held on May 12, 2017, in Washington, DC, under the theme, "Nurses Leading Change and Transforming Palliative Care," was designed to create a collaborative national agenda for primary palliative nursing. The work of the summit focused on 3 aspects of palliative nursing: communication and advance care planning, coordination/transitions of care, and pain and symptom management. This article reports on the outcomes of this summit related to pain and symptom management.

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