Hear from staff working in palliative care about what it means to them
This National Palliative Care Week we recognise all of those working in palliative care in our services. This group of people play an extraordinary role in bringing comfort and choice to people and their families in the most challenging of times.
Despite the deep sadness a palliative diagnosis can bring, those walking alongside them bring moments of joy, and ensure their journey is one that feels personal and aligned with how they have lived their life.
To mark National Palliative Care Week we have asked some of our staff 'What does palliative care mean to you?', and we will be sharing their responses with you.
As someone that has worked in palliative care my entire nursing career, I am very passionate about the journey, and patient and families' experience of palliative care.
Palliative care is about the patient being able to fully enjoy their remaining life, however short or long that may be, doing what they love, being with those they want to be with, and making beautiful memories not only for themselves but for those who will be left behind. It is about providing dignity and support to continue living their best lives, with pain and symptoms well managed, and without being fearful of their journey in health or death.
Some patients have more time than others, and health declines rapidly for some, however, I believe palliative care is about living life in the here and now, and enjoying everything and those closest to them to the max. Palliative care is an individual path with extra layers of support to enjoy the journey.
Sheridan Hertrick, Enrolled Nurse, Hummingbird House
I suppose the difference between palliative care nursing and general nursing is that you are caring for the whole person and not a specific part of the body or a disease. This includes caring for the resident and the family’s social, emotional and spiritual needs and giving them the best quality of life they can have for the time they have left.
'Of course, caring for dying residents can be sad as it is about loss, but it can also be very rewarding. Some end-of-life wishes are very specific. One that I will remember is a resident that was frightened of dying in a bed. When we believed her death was close and her symptoms were relieved, we managed to get her into a chair and wheel her into the sun. She passed away peacefully 45 minutes later with the family by her side. The family was extremely grateful and it is a memory I will have forever.
- Andre, Client Clinical Support, Parkview Aged Care Community
Palliative care at Wesley Mission Queensland
Wesley Mission Queensland is a leading provider of palliative and hospice care. We aim to create memories to last a lifetime in a medically-supported home away from home, for those who need palliative care and short break stays.