Rural nurses key to providing palliative care in critical access hospitals

A new study in the February issue of Critical Care Nurse highlights the important role nurses at critical access hospitals play in meeting the need for high-quality palliative care in rural settings. "As expert generalists, rural nurses are well positioned to provide support and promote quality of life close to home for patients of all ages and their families," said coauthor Dorothy "Dale" M. Mayer, R.N., Ph.D., in a study announcement. "In sparsely populated areas, nurses are not strangers to their patients, often providing care to their neighbors, friends and relatives." But researchers advocate for a new care model that calls for frontline staff, including physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains, to incorporate a palliative approach into patient care, especially with patients who have complex health conditions. This approach is especially suited for rural area and critical access hospitals, authors noted, because of the sense of community that is inherent between friends and neighbors. Announcement