Monday, September 12, 2016

Clinical Practice

A series of blogs on the upcoming event THE INTENSIVES from educational content team members. 

Having worked in hospice for over thirty one years, I have learned the importance of looking ahead. What will be our challenges as an industry?  What will our patient population look like?  And who will be the caregivers of those patients; what will they be like? 

The Future is NOW!  The patient that hospice cares for today is not the same patient we cared for in the past.  We do not have the same resources that we have had in the past. We must take into consideration the diverse populations that we are caring for.  Do we have the capacity to care for the ever growing mental health population?

Nurses need to recognize, now more than ever, the potential of drug diversion.  We can no longer hide our head in the sand and be “Nurse Nicey.”  Gone are the days that we can believe that the cat spilled the Morphine.  We need to be doing opioid risk assessments, looking at legal issues and doing drug screening.

We think that we are honoring our Veteran population, but do all disciplines recognize and understand the clinical and psychosocial needs of Veterans at EOL from ALL war eras?  And what about other diverse populations?  We need to know how to respect and meet end-of-life care needs of the diverse ethnic cultures that we care for including the homeless and non-traditional families. 

Being a baby boomer myself, I pity the staff that will need to care for my parents. I have a world of information, good, bad and ugly, at my fingertips.   The hospice involved with my family will need to be sure they have excellent communication skills to deal with my attitude of “I want what I want and when I want it.”

When I was working in the field, the most challenging patients I cared for were those of the mentally ill population whose needs are vast and varied.  The study of mental health remains a very new one.  Hospices need to understand the common medications, interactions with common hospice meds and what to expect when the patient can no longer take their meds.

The Intensives will help us with some of these conundrums. Specifically, the Clinical Practice Intensive will give us an opportunity to hear from experts on these topics as well as allowing us time to network with our colleagues.   

Tracey Wheatley , RN, CHPN
Director Home Hospice
Hospice & Community Care
Register Now: Advance registration ends October 7.

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