The Commonality and Synchronicity of Mental Health Nurses and Palliative Care Nurses: Closer than you Think? Part One

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The role of the palliative care nurse emphasizes the need for holistic care, and as this role has developed it has become evident that palliative care nurses require skills which, arguably, not all registered general nurses possess; particularly, skills pertaining to the psychological, social and spiritual domains of the person. In order to identify the skills that such nurses may require, there may be merit in considering other specialities of nursing which pay particular attention to the psychological, social and spiritual domains of the person. Consequently, this two-part paper explores the areas of commonality and synchronicity between palliative care nurses and mental health nurses. The authors argue that this commonality is best articulated under the headings: defining the needs of the client group, the role of the nurse in non-physical care, the nurse–client relationship, and the locus of control. They also argue that the differences between these groups of nurses are best articulated under the headings: facilitation/confrontation, and the focus on physical care. Part one of this paper therefore focuses on the first three areas of alleged commonality, with part two focusing on the fourth commonality, the key differences and the implications of such similarity. Given these areas of similarity the authors argue there is a case for reconsidering if the RGN qualification is an essential requirement for working within palliative care or if those with other skills – skills based on ‘being with’ rather than ‘doing for’– such as RMNs, should be thought of for such roles.


To acquire a personal use copy of this work, contact John Cutcliffe at john.cutcliffe@wright.edu.



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