Palliative Care in Final Stages of Life

General
Friday, 9 August 2013
Nicole Evans describes acting in her role as a clinical nurse consultant with Portland District Health's Community Palliative Care service as a "privilege to be able to provide support at the end of a person’s life”.

“Palliative care endeavours to normalise dying as part of life, as is birth,” Mrs Evans said.

This commitment to her work has prompted Nicole to undertake new study in the field. She has recently started a Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care through Flinders University to supplement her existing experience and previous long-distance education in palliative care nursing.

Her study is being supported by a $3500 scholarship through the Department of Health Barwon South West Regional Post Graduate Nursing and Midwifery Scholarship Program. After this six-month course, Nicole plans to continue studying for her Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care.

"Palliative care is a highly specialised field which requires equally specialised care providers," Mrs Evans said.  "I feel both a professional and personal obligation to remain up-to-date with the latest evidence-based care provision."

Mrs Evans has worked in the palliative care field for the past three years after moving from district nursing.

“District nursing provided opportunities to experience caring for those who face life limiting illness such as cancer, motor neurone and end stage organ failure,” she said.

"It can be challenging work but more so rewarding."

Mrs Evans said the key to successful palliative care was providing holistic support that sustained quality of life for clients and their families.

"We assess the physical, psychological and social aspects that effect clients and their families and carers and provide care according to this needs assessment. People are very appreciative of the care, although some families didn't know such a service existed."

Mrs Evans and fellow PDH palliative care clinical nurse consultant Jo Spurge can be contacted on 5521 0674.

Community Palliative Care provides support to people of all ages with a life limiting illness who may self-refer to the service.  The consultants can assist is the provision of education, training and bereavement counselling for palliative care providers and people in the community.


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