Nursing Capstone Project Assignment on What are Nurses’ Perceptions of Palliative Care Versus Hospice

What are Nurses’ Perceptions of Palliative Care Versus Hospice?

The contemporary medical term as part of the hospice program is palliative care. This type of care has been in service for many dying Americans. The research project that such services provide currently impacts on averagely more than one million patients as well as their families every year (Care 1999). As a distinction between palliative and hospice, many medical practitioners focus on the patients, especially with terminally ill conditions, well-being. In retrospection, palliative insinuates treatments of illness conditions and symptom in a bid to enhance ones comfort. Of course, both palliative and hospice dwells upon helping a terminally ill patient become comfortable through addressing factors causing physical and emotional pain (Hearn & Higginson, 1998). The two domains of medical care operate under teams of caregivers with enough skills and experience in their operations. However, the goals of palliative care aim at an improvement of the quality of people with serious illness, especially in providing support to the patient and the family during and after the treatment. According to WHO statistics, 27 percent of all American population with terminal illness underwent palliative care. Out of the number, 16 percent of their families also received emotional and physical enhancements through home visitations as well as technical advice (2007). On the other hand, hospice dwells acutely on the symptoms relief as well as life support of patients with monthly duration expectancy (Billings & Block 1997). In other words, hospice services focus mainly on patients with months to live as opposed to palliative care dwelling on general relief and comfort of a patient. The medical practitioners have expounded different perspectives on the two terminologies due to their thin differential index. Zerzan & Hanson (2000) notes that the contemporary medical field uses the same approach (Hospice and palliative) to refer to treatment of terminally ill patients. This paper evaluates the various perceptions nurses hold of the two medical services in American medical facilities.


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Zerzan, J., Stearns, S., & Hanson, L. (2000). Access to palliative care and hospice in nursing homes. Jama284(19), 2489-2494.