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Nursing Care at the End of Life: Palliative…

Nursing Care at the End of Life: Palliative Care for Patients and Families

by Joyce V. Zerwekh

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Since Friends are reluctant to single out individuals for special
notice, we may sometimes miss the opportunity to benefit from the
particular skills, knowledge, and gifts of those among us who might be considered "living treasures"-those who have the depth and breadth of experience, the well-practiced craft, and the mature grace in their chosen field to be master teachers and role models. Joyce Zerwekh is one of these treasures, in the field of end-of-life care. Her recent book reflects not only comprehensive knowledge, but true wisdom, and the
ability to communicate lucidly about complex, and often difficult, matters. Although Nursing Care at the End of Life is a textbook for nursing students, it ought to be read by a much wider audience; as a resource, it would "speak to the condition" of anyone giving or receiving care. In fact, we could all benefit from learning more about the physical, emotional, relational, ethical, and spiritual concerns of those with life-threatening illnesses, and their families, communities, and caregivers. Within a textbook format (stating learning objectives, providing illustrative examples, posing questions, etc.), Joyce finds creative and moving ways of presenting her material, including helpful images and diagrams, meaningful quotations and stories, and simple, clear discussions of complicated issues. Her central image for
the "Hospice Family Caregiving Model" is a tree whose trunk, roots,
and branches represent the essential "nursing competencies": "Sustaining oneself, Reaching out to meet fear, Connecting, encouraging choice, Speaking truth, Strengthening the family, Caring spiritually, Guiding letting go, Comforting, Collaborating." These competencies apply to caregiving of all kinds, and to many other forms of interaction within Friends' communities as well. Please take the time to open this book, page through, read, ponder, and find what you need.
  Multnomah_Quakers | Apr 19, 2012 |
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