Monday, 14 March 2016

Time to shut down the acute care conveyor belt? MJA Dec 2015.

End of life care has recently been an active issue raised within our department as well as in healthcare across Australia. The author, distinguished anaesthetist/intensivist Ken Hillman, compared the current medicalisation of dying with medicalisaion of birthing in 1950s. End of life care is not being well managed in the hospital setting. Most admitting teams do not have the level of training to carry out a lengthy and complex discussion with patients and their carers, and they are often busy caring for the more conventional aspects of medical care. He suggests a strategy to manage this would be an end-of-life care team similar to the rapid response team, where patients in the at-risk group are identified and a clinician with appropriate skills, knowledge and experience to carry out end of life discussions. This is likely to be a palliative care nurse until more training is provided in the undergraduate and postgraduate levels for nurses and doctors.

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