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From The CriticsReviewer: Lisa Stepp, PhD, RN, APN, AOCN, CRNH (Private Practice)
Description: One of the unique features of hospice care is the opportunity for patients to receive symptom management at home. The challenges faced by the caregiver can seem overwhelming due to the amount of care that may be required.
Purpose: The purpose is to help clinicians provide quality care in the home. The authors readily admit that this is not a comprehensive reference for palliative care. Rather, it is designed as a quick reference with specific attention to the patient's care at home.
Audience: This text is designed for clinicians working with the terminally ill. The current facilities available in the hospital setting may not be available in the home. For this reason, the information found in this text is beneficial for caregivers as well as clinicians. The authors are clearly leaders in the filed of palliative care in the U.K.
Features: Terminal care is aimed at providing care that will enable the patient to die with dignity. The content addresses issues of palliative care and symptom management strategies that can easily be applied in the home setting. Of special interest is the inclusion of a section on polypharmacy. Whether the patient is in the hospital or at home, polypharmacy remains a large problem. The strategies presented here are very effective in identifying and rectifying the situation.
Assessment: While terminal care is becoming more and more prominent in the U.S., the strategies presented here do vary from those used in the U.K. Many compounds used for symptom management also vary between the two countries, leaving clinicians to discern what products are available to them and appropriate for use.