Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Three to get ready...

Now go, cat. Go!

So, I guess I can say that it's semi-official - my proposal to develop and end of life care team specifically for our unit has been approved to actually happen. I'm psyched.

We're looking at a series of three class meetings held one month apart, beginning in October. Each will last four hours, and the entire course will touch on the full set of nine ELNEC modules.

I was also asked to build the first class around modules that would be useful for non-nurses, because at least one physician, our unit's assigned chaplain, and one or both of our assigned social workers want to attend that session. At this point, I'm planning to build content around the topics of ethics, communication, and grief/bereavement.

There are also three other ELNEC trainers at my hospital, and two of them are heading up a 3-part course in October/November that is available to nurses on all of the units. They've asked me to help with one of the modules, and of course I'm very happy to do so.

It's been clear to me for as long as I can remember that end of life care needs to be a huge overall priority, not just at my hospital but throughout the health care system. The dying and their families are very badly served in the acute care setting that many of us practice in.

That's certainly not for lack of caring. I think most of us do our best on a case by case basis. It's just that hospitals, medical centers, and clinicians are geared to other things.

But the wheel's turning, even if it's turning more slowly than I'd like.

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