Palliative care is interdisciplinary care that addresses suffering and improves the quality of care for patients and families when patients are facing a life-threatening illness. Palliative care needs in the intensive care unit include communication regarding diagnosis and prognosis, goals-of-care conversations, multidimensional pain and symptom management, and end-of-life care that may include withdrawal of mechanical ventilation and life support. Registered nurses spend the greatest amount of time with patients and families who are facing death and serious illness, so nurses must be armed with adequate training, knowledge, and necessary tools to address patient and caregiver needs and deliver high-quality, patient-centered palliative care. Innovative approaches to integrating palliative care are important components of care for intensive care nurses. This article reviews 2 evidence-based practice projects, a serious illness support tool and the 3 Wishes Project, to add to the palliative care toolkit for registered nurses and other team members.

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