A literature review of the role of the specialist palliative care community nurse.

Source:   International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 2010, 16 (4) p163-9 

Follow this link for fulltext with an NHS Athens password.

Date of publication: April, 2010

Publication type:  Article

In a nutshell:   International research is reviewed to establish a better understanding of the role of the specialist palliative care community nurse (SPCCN). In light of developments in cancer treatment and palliative care, which have lead to improved symptom control and increased prognosis for palliative care patients, the role of the SPCCN has evolved and evidence shows a move to specialist rather than generalist responsiblities, including the provision of a consultancy service and this has led to some role ambiguity.  Three themes emerged in defining the role of the community palliative care nurse:

  • communication and collaboration
  • a clarification of the role
  • the role of referral.

It is clear that

  • there is less definition of professional role boundaries amongst the palliative care team 
  • the SPCCN has a capacity to coordinate and provide expertise in delivering complex symptom control to patients and their families

Length of publication:  8 pages.

Some important notes:  If you do not have a current NHS Athens account, please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article.  Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


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