August 23, 2019 – Palliative Lead


Anchor lead: Nurses may take the lead when it comes to palliative care and end of life issues, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Do you have advance directives in place if you are critically ill and unable to communicate your wishes? How about a health care proxy who knows what you want? Most Americans want to die at home but often don’t, recent data show, yet when nurses get involved in the discussion such goals may be met more frequently. Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, isn’t surprised.

Davidson: Nursing is a discipline that’s about the whole person. It’s not about a organ, and it’s not about a biomedical approach. Certainly the nurses, and physicians, and social workers, and chaplains, anybody who works in palliative care, is truly committed to that approach. Sometimes the length of time spent with the patient, the length of time of engagement in the clinical encounter, directly relates to the amount of meaningful information you get.  :30

Davidson says a team approach to care renders all valuable members united in their goal to  provide the best care for patients. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.