An analysis of the palliative care education needs of RGNs and HCAs in nursing homes in Ireland.
AffiliationDublin North East, Louth, Meath, Cavan/ Monaghan, Dóchas Centre, Drogheda, Co. Louth.
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CitationAn analysis of the palliative care education needs of RGNs and HCAs in nursing homes in Ireland. 2009, 15 (9):446, 448-55 Int J Palliat Nurs
JournalInternational journal of palliative nursing
AbstractTo identify the palliative care education needs of registered general nurses (RGNs) and health-care assistants (HCAs) working in care of the older person units (nursing homes).
A questionnaire was sent to all RGNs and HCAs working in nursing homes run by the Health Service Executive (HSE) in one health-care region in Ireland.
RGNs identified eight specific educational needs: understanding of the dying process; pain and symptom management; improved communication skills; nutritional assessment issues; practical skills; the appropriate use and management of syringe drivers; and the role of complementary therapies. HCAs identified a need to improve their communication skills and clarify their role. Both groups identified the need for support when caring for dying patients and the need to improve their understanding of palliative care and the role of specialist palliative care (SPC) services. There was a significant difference between the RGNs' and the HCAs' level of understanding of palliative care (P = 0.00).
This study demonstrated that RGNs and HCAs working in care of the older person settings have palliative care educational needs. It also established a difference in the educational background and palliative care understanding of RGNs and HCAs. This study therefore identified the need to develop separate education programmes.