Open Access Article

To Live Until You Die

Cynthia F. Cramer

end of life
CJON 2010, 14(1), 53-56. DOI: 10.1188/10.CJON.53-56

Oncology nurses are expected to be knowledgeable in dealing with palliative care and end-of-life issues. However, patients with advanced cancer often are not offered palliative care until they are approaching the very end of their lives. Oncology nurses need to step up as patient advocates. They need to educate patients, families, physicians, and the public that aggressive cancer care can coexist with aggressive palliative care. This article discusses how to introduce palliative care much earlier in the cancer experience. Oncology nurses can become empowered and then help other nurses to improve quality of life for their patients with advanced cancer as they approach the end of their lives.

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