The ABC of pain, death and grief

Palliative Care Nursing
February 25, 2005

Palliative care nursing has become a specialised discipline in its own right rather than simply an extension of elderly care nursing or cancer nursing. This growing specialisation is evident in this comprehensive and well-written book that explores the principles and evidence that underpin the work of nurses in palliative care.

With three experienced editors and 40 additional international contributors, this easy-to-read book accompanies the reader through the illness trajectory from the onset of illness, through a consideration of how people cope as they approach death and, finally, how families and friends deal with bereavement and loss.

These sections successfully highlight the complex nature of palliative care nursing and the extensive knowledge and skills required to provide high-quality nursing care for patients and their families.

The final section, which considers contemporary issues, offers an interesting insight into the current position of palliative care nursing, including issues important to those involved in palliative care research.

This book demonstrates that nursing practice in this field, as in all other areas, is becoming increasingly based on evidence. This requires a sustained programme of investment to ensure that the existing body of knowledge can continue to grow.

Palliative care nursing is about the care of people facing death, both those who will die and those who will accompany the individual through the illness trajectory. In the past, those working in palliative care have not received the recognition they deserve for the highly specialised skills and knowledge they apply in their everyday working lives. This book goes some way to describing and exploring the complexity of nursing practice in palliative care. The editors should be commended for the way they have pulled together the principles, evidence and essence that underpin palliative care nursing.

I strongly recommend this book to all nurses and practitioners who care for dying patients and their families.

Leslie Gelling is senior research fellow, Institute of Health and Social Care, Anglia Polytechnic University.

Palliative Care Nursing: Principles and Evidence for Practice. First edition

Editor - Sheila Payne, Jane Seymour and Christine Ingleton
Publisher - Open University Press
Pages - 791
Price - £80.00 and £29.99
ISBN - 0 335 21492 4 and 21243 3

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