Paula attended a placement as although she is not a clinician it is vital in her role that she understands
- What drugs and treatment are being administered by the person’s treating doctor, the palliative care team and/or specialists. We are, on occasion, with patients when drugs are being administered and It is important for our team to understand why the drugs are prescribed (whether as pain management; reduction of symptoms etc.).
- Any side effects the person may experience from the drugs.
- What to discuss with the person requiring care and/or their family.
Paula found the placement very beneficial as she was given resources to support the team when she returned to work and also made connections and networks of Speicalist palliative care staff to follow up more information later.
Paula’s reflections about her goals were:-
“I have met part of my initial goals insofar as I wanted to know how best to approach palliative care from the perspective of an agency providing care in the home. I did not know entirely what to expect by my placement however, my time with my mentors reinforced the way in which my agency approaches care for people with a life limiting illnesses. The first part of my placement was in line with my initial goals, in that I was out in the community and observing an RN from South West Palliative Care Service during his round. The purpose of the round is to assist palliative care clients through their journey while remaining in their own home. It confirmed that the care provided by him is an holistic approach to their care, as is the case in all community care. The RN’s approach was to ensure that the clients comfort was paramount and as to whether the current level of care was adequate for their needs while still remaining at home and where necessary facilitate the client’s transfer to hospital. This enabled me to see firsthand how the Palliative Care Team approaches care from their perspective. The reason for the part achievement of my goals was due to the team’s inability to cater for my presence for the full day as their team had some sick leave considerations. However, during the visits to clients their level of attention and care was in no way diminished or projected to the client. It was interesting to see how they conducted themselves and the outcomes of the visit. I also gained further information on the second day which re informed the way in which we conduct palliative care in our agency. Any changes to our current procedures will be in the form of additions to our checklist and additional knowledge in how to provide support to the client and their family in the form of providing referrals to pastoral care and/or some such spiritual care as may be appropriate.”