Chapter 1: Myth: Nothing more can be done

Introduction

The paramedic says
Being present, mindful and aware(3:22)Video transcript
The palliative care expert says
Marianne explains how meaningful it is for care to be provided in the home for as long as possible. (3:22)Video transcript

Typical paramedic interventions such as CPR have the advantage of being visible; something tangible and active is being done. On the other hand, palliative interventions, such as managing symptoms and providing emotional comfort, may be less obvious – yet are no less important or powerful.

One of the most damaging myths about the end of life and palliative care is that nothing more can be done. In fact, a great deal can still be done, including:

  • Managing symptoms.

  • Helping the patient and family understand what to expect.

  • Assisting the patient and family to navigate decisions.

  • Providing comfort.
  • Alleviating fears and worries.

  • Facilitating good communication with and within the family.
  • Normalizing death and dying.

As discussed in Module 2, the first step is developing a relationship of trust with the patient and family.