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Caring for Patients at the End of Life (CE)

Death can be frightening. This can be especially true for patients in the terminal stages of chronic disease. These patients often wish for a "good death." However, they often fear that they will die alone, in pain, abandoned by their caregivers. Nurses must provide excellent end-of-life care to all dying patients. In this way, nurses can help patients have a "good death", calm the fears of dying patients, and support the patient's family. This course will discuss palliative vs. curative care, potential barriers to palliative care, guidelines for providing palliative care according to a patient's wishes for a "good death", and guidelines for helping loved ones when a patient is dying.

Courseware Learning Objectives

After completing this continuing education activity, you should be able to:

  • Distinguish between palliative and curative care as they relate to end-of-life patient care.
  • Identify potential barriers to adequate palliative care, as well as methods for overcoming these barriers, when caring for the end-of-life patient.
  • Identify three best practices for meeting the needs of a dying patient that will assist in providing optimal patient care.
  • Identify three best practices for meeting the needs typically associated with the family members of a dying patient that will assist in providing optimal patient care.