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Polly M. Mazanec, PhD, ACNP, AOCN, FPCN, Assistant Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, discusses the challenges of palliative care in the ambulatory oncology setting.
Challenges in this setting, Mazanec admits, are overwhelming. In the last 10 years, changes have occurred and caused a huge culture shift for nurses to implement palliative care from the time of diagnosis for any patient with advanced disease.
The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) is a national education initiative focusing on how nurses evolve palliative care from the time of diagnosis through the entire disease trajectory for patients who have life-limiting disease.
In addition to treatment to extend survival, this population of patients needs aggressive supportive care in the form of pain and symptom management, emotional support, and having their psychosocial and spiritual needs met.