Is a Career in Palliative Care Specialty Right For You?

Palliative Specialty is an area of nursing that deals with patients suffering from grave diseases and prolonged illnesses. The main role of a palliative nurse is caring for such patients as well as performs tests and assessment, treat symptoms, prescribe medication with the consent of a physician and provide special attention to promote wellness among patients with terminal illnesses.
The majority of palliative nurses work for elderly patients, older adults and geriatric patients in hospitals and medical facilities. However, if required, they use their expertise to provide care to patients of all ages and provide nursing care at home
Palliative Hospice services

So, what's the difference between Palliative & Hospice Services?

Palliative nursing is a specialty which is often confused with Hospice nursing services, but there is a difference between the two. The main goal of palliative nursing services is to provide best possible care to patient with an attempt to improve their health and quality of life. Whereas in hospice specialty, when a patient is closer to the last stage of life, this is the stage when a patient prefers to stay at home with family and friends around and at this moment, the hospice team ensures that the patient has access to best possible In house hospice care, throughout the day, every day.

What is the Educational Requirement to be a Palliative Nurse?

Palliative is a nursing specialty and to pursue a career in this field, one needs to be a Registered Nurse first, by pursuing BSN and passing the NCLEX examination. Thereafter, pursue a certification course or an enhancement program in Palliative Specialty. After, achieving certification by the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurse, a nurse can practice as a Palliative Care Practitioner. Additionally, some experience in acute care, patient assessment, evidence based practice and excellent communication skills are also required.

In house hospice care
What are the Job Opportunities for a Palliative Nurse?

Palliative Care Practitioner can work in variety of healthcare settings, like -
  • In Pastoral Care
  • For Bereavement Counseling
  • At Group Homes Long-term Care Centers
  • In Hospitals
  • In Community Care Agencies
  • Elder care at Home
To care for people who are about to take their last breath in this world is indeed a special area and to serve in this field, special education is required. Nurses who find their passion in providing care to this unique pool of patients can pursue a Certificate Program that focuses on Palliative nursing. 

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