Home-Care Nurses’ Experience With Medication Kit in Palliative Care

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Abstract

Home-care nurses assist many advanced cancer patients desiring to live in the familiar surroundings of their own home until the day they die. The purpose of this study was to increase the understanding concerning home-care nurse experience with the Norwegian version of the medication kit as a tool in symptom management for the terminally ill. The study had a qualitative, descriptive, and explorative design, based on hermeneutic methodology. Two focus group interviews with 4 subsequent in-depth interviews helped generate data. The nurses reported how thorough planning and clear instructions on medication kit usage gave security and facilitated proper application. Good collaboration with primaryphysicians, including accessibility and clarifying meetings in particular, was necessary. In the past, infrequent use of the medication kit hindered its relevance for symptom management. Home-care nurses were often alone with the responsibility for assessing the patient and administering medications, leading to unjustifiable professional conditions, particularly during night shifts. Thus, clear guidelines, planning and clarifying meetings with primary physicians, helped to facilitate the use of the medication kit.

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