The Importance of Lifelong Learning for Nurses

Why do we, as nursing professionals, have to put in effort to continuously learn?

The rate of progress in technology is growing at an exponential rate. The more things we discover, the faster we do it. What we learnt in nursing school 10 years ago might already be obsolete next year. As nurses, we are at risk of endangering our patients as our skills are steadily becoming more outdated.

Lifelong learning is a term that is freely being thrown around these past two decades. Lifelong learning means that education does not end at the academic level upon graduation; it means new skills, knowledge, and practices are always there to be learnt to improve oneself.

New Methods of Nursing

Take CPR, for example.

A vital procedure, many lives are saved with it. You would think that for something used so much in hospitals, it would be a science that’s very well established.

Unfortunately, no. Researchers and new observations change the way CPR is done. A decade ago, CPR was considered futile after a certain amount of time. Now, you are encouraged to not give up those chest compressions until medical help arrives.

Even the steps for CPR ten years ago are in different order. It used to be A-B-C; clear Airway, apply rescue breaths, then begin compressions. Now compressions come first and foremost. The reason is because rescue breaths lower chest cavity air pressure, slowing circulation (which is exactly what we do not want in cardiac arrest).

The new methods are more effective than the older ones. And it took only ten years for the old methods to become obsolete.

Not knowing the newer, more effective method could cost someone his/her life.

Renewing Your Nursing License

In Malaysia, you have to renew your license every year.

When you renew your license, they will check your CPD points: Continuous Professional Development points. These are points that you gain when you go for any nursing related courses.

For example, attend a Midwifery course and gain 5 CPD points. Attend a Wound Management course and get 3.

These points accumulate throughout the year, and when you want to renew your license, you need about 20-30 points. Otherwise, you will not be able to renew, thus leaving you without any form of registration. Meaning you can’t practice nursing!

Improving care towards patients

Nurses with a higher level of education are able to think more critically of their patients. They are able to aid in diagnosis, notice patterns in communication, and other physical cues that would help in determining the best course of treatment.

A nurse with a post-basic in cardiology is much more useful to a cardiologist compared to a general staff nurse. They can work together, exchange information, and execute procedures that the latter would not normally have the ability to do.

21st Century patients

Nowadays, patients are have more access to information than ever before. They are more learned, and have different set of expectations. They query a lot; so nurses have to be armed with the right set of information to cater to these patients. It goes a long way in establishing their trust towards you.

A good nurse-patient relationship is very important to achieve successful recovery.

Great nurses are always on the lookout for new, exciting, and better opportunities to grow their career. Find out your next employment with MIMS Career, a fast, secure, and convenient portal to connect you to top-class healthcare employers in MY, SG, ID, and PH.



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 Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical and mental stresses of the terminal diagnosis. The goal of such therapy is to improve quality of life for both the person and their family. 

 Palliative care is provided by a team of physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other health professionals who work together with the primary care doctors and referred specialists. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided as the main goal of care of along with curative treatment. 

 Although it is an important part of end-of-life care, it is not limited to that stage. Palliative care can be provided across multiple settings including in hospitals, in the patient’s home, as part of the community palliative care programs, and in nursing facilities. Spiritual support is often provided in more interdisciplinary teams. 

 When a medicine or treatment relieves symptoms, but has no curative properties, it is said to be palliative. The word noncurative is sometimes paired with palliative for clarification purposes. 

 Scope 

 Palliative care is for patients with any serious illness and who have a physical or mental distress as a result of the treatment they are undergoing. Palliative care increases comfort by reducing pain, alleviating symptoms, and lessening stress for the patient and family. It is mutually beneficial for both patient and caregiver. 

 Emergency care nurses and doctors have a critical role to begin discussions with patients and their families regarding palliative care as they see them go through difficult times in life. 

 Paediatric palliative care is a rapidly growing subset of this field, and services directed specifically for children with serious illness are in dire need of this. 

 Responsibilities 


 
  Assessment of symptoms
 

 A method fr the assessment of symptoms in patients admitted to palliative care is the Edmonton Symptoms Assessment Scare, in which there are eight visual analog scales of 0 to 10, indicating the levels of pain, activity, nausea, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, appetite and sensation of well-being. On the scale, 0 means absent, and 10 means the worst imaginable possible. Medications are often managed at home by family or nursing support. 


   Further actions 

 Effective methods to ensuring successful palliative care is to provide a safe way for the individual to address their physical and psychological distress, that is to say their total suffering. 

 Dealing with total suffering involves addressing a wide range of concerns, starting with treating physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, and breathlessness. The palliative care teams have become very skillful in prescribing drugs for physical symptoms, and have been instrumental in showing how drugs such as morphine can be used safely while maintaining a patient’s full functions. 

 
  Importance of counselling
 

 Usually, a palliative care patient’s concerns are pain, fears of the future, uncertainties, and worries of their family and feeling like a burden. There are counselling, visual methods, cognitive therapy, and relaxation therapy to deal with it. 

 Pallliative care sees an increasingly wide range of conditions in patients at varying stage of their illness it follows that palliative care teams offer a range of care. This may range form managing the physical symptoms in patients receiving treatment for cancer, to treating depression in patients with advanced disease, to the care of patients in their last days and hours. 

 Training 

 In most countries hospice and palliative care is provided by an interdisciplinary team consisting of physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses, nursing assistant, social workers, and others. The focus on the team is to optimize the patient’s comfort. 

 Nurses in palliative care are given extensive training in counselling, medication dispensing, and support. The aim is about relieving distressing symptoms for the patient. Nurses are also part of the management of the imminently dying patient, more so than the physicians or doctors themselves. 

 Work Opportunities 

 The work opportunities that we get is aplenty. Palliative care is often used interchageably as a term with hospice care, albeit some slight differences. They share some similar goals of providing symptom relief and pain management. Palliative care services can be offered to any patient without restriction to disease or prognosis, and can be appropriate for anyone with a serious, complex illness, whether they are expected to recover fully or not. 

 Hospice is a type of care involving palliation without curative intent. usually it is used for people with no further options for curing their disease or in people who have decided to not pursue treatment that is hard on them. 

 Typically hospice and palliative care nurses work in non-hospital settings.

Career Highlight: Palliative Care

Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical and mental stresses of the terminal diagnosis. The...

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