4MANAGING PATIENTS AT THE END OF LIFE: A SURVEY OF DOCTORS AND NURSES

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Abstract

Objective: Around half a million people die in England each year. Two-thirds are aged >75. Geriatric units play an important role in caring for people at the end of life. We conducted a survey of geriatricians and nurses across the geriatrics wards of our local hospital.

Our aims were to:

Sampling methods: Fifty-five questionnaires were distributed to nursing staff, middle and senior grade doctors across the four elderly care wards at University Hospital of North Staffordshire. Forty responses were obtained, half from doctors and half from nurses.

Results:

Conclusions: All the respondents were reasonably confident in identifying the end of life. Symptom management was discussed with confidence. Areas, such as advanced directives and preferred place of death, were less well discussed. There needs to be increased training and emphasis on thorough discussions across the range of end of life issues.

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