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

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This is the second of a two-part paper which explores the areas of commonality and synchronicity between palliative care (PC) 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 focused on the first three areas of commonality, whereas this paper focuses on the fourth commonality, the locus of control. It also focuses on key differences and the implications of such similarity. The paper highlights the practice, education and research implications of this alleged commonality. It suggests, given the evidence that clients perceive the therapeutic relationship as the vital and unique aspect of PC nursing, that those working within palliative care need to question whether or not RGN registration is an essential requirement, or whether those with other skills, such as psychiatric/mental health (P/MH) nurses, should be considered for such roles. It highlights the need for the provision of post-basic counselling courses and the potential value for PC nurses of receiving clinical supervision from P/MH nurses or mental health liaison nurses. Lastly, it posits that the research issues arising out of this alleged commonality centre on the potential impact such transitions in care delivery may have on the care delivered, on the nurses themselves and on the clients.


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



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