Undergraduate Nursing Students Experience Engaging in End-of-Life Conversations as a Tool to Transforming Practice
Katherine L. Chadwell, ARNP, GNP-BC, GCNS, CPHQ; Elizabeth A. Olafson, RN; Ellen A. Morris, RN
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Session presented on Saturday, April 9, 2016, and Friday, April 8, 2016:
Background: End-of-life decision planning is difficult, and a process which the need for is often unrecognized or neglected. Ninety percent of people think it’s important to talk about end of life care (IHI, 2014). Although 60% of people would like to have their end of life wishes honored, the reality is that only 23%-30% of persons have completed advanced directives, and often no conversation was ever initiated with their families (Morhaim & Pollack, 2014; Rao, Anderson, Lin, & Laux, 2014; The Conversation Project, 2013). Rao (2014) reported a significant disparity on completion of advanced directives among Black and Hispanic participants with only approximately 17% completing them compared to their white counterparts. According to Morhaim (2014), the most common reason given for not having completed advanced directives was a lack of awareness. Persons identified healthcare providers as the preferred way to get information regarding end of life care (Morhaim et al., 2014; Rao et al., 2014). End-of-life conversations and advanced care planning are important processes that support personhood and may diminish the need for unwanted costly care. Nurses are often in a position to educate and advocate for persons and their families regarding advanced directives and therefore need to play an integral role in end of life decision making processes.
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