Cicely Saunders revolutionised the care of patients at the end of life by ensuring their psychological and emotional needs were met and by putting ‘being with’ them at the heart of their care. Applying this concept in practice is often a challenge for nurses, for reasons ranging from lack of time and outcome-focused environments to lack of training, lack of clinical supervision and reluctance to give too much of themselves. In this article, the author uses her experience of caring for a patient with end-stage interstitial lung disease and intractable breathlessness to reflect on the challenges of ‘being with’ patients at the end of life, and how this can have benefits for nurse and patient alike.
This article has been double-blind peer reviewed
In this article…