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Palliative care in the community – the role of the resource nurse, a qualitative study

Håkon Johansen, Ann Karin Helgesen
Published: 14 October 2021

Abstract: Background Approaches involving resource nurses have been used in several fields of practice to enhance quality of care. A literature review reveals limited research on the role of the resource nurse in palliative care in the community. Aim To explore experiences related to the role of the resource nurse in palliative care in the setting of nursing homes in Norway. Design The study has an explorative design with a qualitative approach. Methods Two semi structured group interviews were conducted. Five resource nurses participated in the first interview, two resource nurses participated in the last interview. The group interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim and analysed with systematic text condensation. Results The resource nurses wish to promote high-quality palliative care. They are skilled palliative nurses working clinically, and they use their experience and knowledge to talk about and demonstrate good practice. By conveying knowledge and being role models, they bolster their colleagues’ confidence and skills in palliative care and contribute to a shared view of quality. They can potentially play an important role in facilitating reflection and collaboration in the palliative care team. However, the resource nurse’s function is affected by interpersonal, managerial and organisational factors. Conclusion The resource nurse most important tool in promoting high-quality palliative care may be to support their colleagues being a role model, and sharing knowledge and experience. The resource nurses play an important role in facilitating reflection and collaboration in the palliative care team and may contribute to ethical awareness and proper dialogues about end of life issues.
Keywords: Resource nurse / palliative care / ethics / nursing home

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