Often in palliative care calls, the family ends up being the patient. ~ Canadian paramedic
An end-of-life situation isn’t easy for anyone. If the family has called 911, they’re usually experiencing some level of distress. You may spend as much or even more time supporting the family as you do tending to the person who is dying. Palliative care is patient- and family-focused, so supporting everyone is considered an essential part of the role.
There are many opportunities to make a positive difference for patients and families. While some of these interventions may seem small and even insignificant to you, they can have profound impacts on a patient’s last days and hours, in how families experience end of life, and in their grieving process. The interpersonal aspects of paramedic practice and the importance of building constructive relationships with the patient and family are paramount.
By the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Identify communication
techniques to support patients and families.
- Describe ways to respond
to complex and difficult situations.
- Summarize communication
strategies to support children.
- Highlight the importance
of respecting and supporting cultural practices and traditions.
- Identify ways to support
the family in the moments before and after the patient’s death, including what
to say and what not to say.