Theoretical and practical synthesis of palliative care

Palliative care gets little attention in educating and training of medical staff. Is it a difficult subject that reminds health care professionals about the fragility of life? This new publication, focusing on the role of nurses, learns what may be done and not to look away.

The realisation of this synthesis is the result of the work of a multidisciplinary team, coordinated by Dr. Gabriela Rahnea Nita, oncologist, and vice-president of the Romanian Society of Palliatology and Tanatology. It offers a useful approach for those who care for patients in the terminal phase of a disease in the Romanian language.

In the introductory part, notions about the principles of palliative care and kinesiotherapy are presented. The most important principle to be applied in caring for terminal patients is multidisciplinary teamwork, including doctors of various specialties, nurses, kinetotherapists, dieticians, psychologists, sociologists, and priests.

In the chapter on symptom management, the most common problems of palliative care are addressed algorithmically: definition, etiological factors and the palliative approach.

Special attention is paid to aspects of psycho-emotional, social and spiritual care, as well as to communication. Overcoming patient-family communication barriers maintains patient and family trust in medical staff, eliminates distrust and uncertainty, prevents unrealistic expectations for treatment, supports the process of adapting to cancer diagnosis, and prevents the “conspiracy of silence”

“To give palliative care means to look death in the eye, to fight with it, to try to elude it, to defer it, or at least to make it less painful.” That is why in this book a special chapter deals with the preparation of the medical team medical to face death.

This book is well designed and documented, useful to nurses, but also to doctors involved in palliative care.