While providing much needed support to the patient and the family in order for them to cope with the emotional stress associated with being critically ill, it has also been found that nurses and health care staff assigned to intensive care units that deal with end of life situations deal with more stress than nurses assigned to other wards (Kostopoulou & Katsouyanni, 2006).
During my visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong, I observed the palliative care given to patients in their oncology ward. This a mixed ward where they give care to both geriatric and pediatric patients with cancer. As an observer, I was able to see the developments made in giving palliation and what needs to be improved still.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital is one of the many hospitals in Hong Kong that provides palliative care to their patients in the oncology ward. The services that they offer include providing possible placement and hospice care for patients. In providing palliative care, the patient and their families are given support for quality of life by preventing and providing relief from emotional, spiritual and physiological impacts of chronic illnesses such as cancer. ...
The giving of palliative care may differ a bit in giving care to different age groups. Such as with pediatric palliative care that deals with children with the idea that children with chronic illnesses may not survive to become adults (Liben, Papadatou, & Wolfe, 2007).
Education and psychosocial support is also given to patients and their families. In educating families, it is giving them options with clinical trials that can help with the prognosis of their illnesses. The psychosocial aspect helps patients and their families deal with the emotional and psychological stresses associated with being chronically ill (Chan, 2001).
Culturally speaking, Chinese people find it a privilege to spend the last moments of their loved ones. This is slowly changing with the advancement of medicine and the constraints of living spaces in Hong Kong. Most deaths happen in the ICU or hospices and this has a significant impact especially on the elderly who seek palliative care. Even health care workers are aware of this human factor and may sometimes allow patients who are admitted to hospices to go home for a few days. This home leave improves the psychological and emotional aspect of the patient, but in most cases is brought back to the hospice or hospital (Ngai, Yuen, & Wong, 2006).
CONCEPTS BEHIND PALLIATIVE CARE IN CLINICAL ONCOLOGY
Palliative care has a significant role when dealing with patients who are chronically ill. The scope of care does not only extend to the patient, but to the family of the patient as well who together with the patient deal with the stresses and emotional burdens of being ill. Palliative care also gives importance on the role of health care workers in giving appropriate psychosocial support and exploring other clinical studies that can help in the