- timely, honest/open communication that is patient/carer led is essential
- communication between teams is crucial to ensure seamless care
- assessment of needs in physical, psychological, social and spiritual domains
- diagnosing dying is highly complex
- have knowledge of the patient’s condition
- have an awareness of family dynamics
- people can change their minds so decisions need to be revisited
- adopt a goal setting approach to shared decision making
- look after yourself!
What is helpful:
- using a model such as SPIKES
- patient led interactions
- anticipation of needs and planning accordingly
- open and honest communication about what is happening and what to expect - advance care planning
- good documented summary/synopsis of conversations
- knowing what and who is important to the patient
- understanding the potential for complexity around communication – try to identify a key person to share information with
- ask patient if they want to bring someone to the clinics/appointments
- timely referral to other services
- facilitate shared decision making
- assessment and care planning
- using a structured framework for assessment and care planning – use of tools such as GSF, SPICT, Palliative Performance Scale
- adopting a consistent approach when communicating between teams
- be honest if you don’t know the answer but let the person know you will find out the information for them
- checking how the family are when sitting with the dying patient – providing drinks/place for quiet time/comfortable chair
- checking out previous experience of death/bereavement
- explain the process of dying
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