Critical care nurses routinely provide end-of-life (EOL) care for patients and their families. Research in the late 1990s identified various obstacles that hindered nurses’ ability to deliver high-quality EOL care. However, it is unknown if progress has been made since that time.
Beckstrand and colleagues surveyed critical care nurses to identify the current obstacles and helpful behaviors related to EOL care and compared them with the 1999 survey data. They found
The authors recommend that nurses take the lead for improved EOL education with the general public. In addition, focused education for nurses can improve communication with and quality of care for families facing EOL.
See Article, pp e81-e91
Patients have traditionally received nothing by mouth (nil per os [NPO]) after surgery to prevent adverse outcomes such as nausea, vomiting, dysphagia, and aspiration pneumonia. However, oral hydration protocols vary widely among providers, with some causing patients further distress.