I think Palliation is a mindset. When I went to nursing school
LONG AGO it was the care versus cure mindset. Now I don't want what I write here to denigrate this fine nursing program described above; it sounds like something I could personally be very interested in. It sounds like a voice in the desert.
My old diploma program did not address palliation per se, but we talked alot about nursing care and nursing problems. However, I personally did the critical care route and I think that working those high tech environments pulls the nurse away from the care mentality and towards the "cure" mentality. Please--I am not saying that critical care nurses are uncaring. But when nurses get caught up in a culture of doing it because it can be done, calling anything but doing that high tech procedure "malpractice", etc, they've started to focus, along with their medical colleagues, on Cure VS Care.
So many critical care nurses post here and say, "Geez, i can't believe what we are doing in my ICU to old people who are demented, chronically ill or care home residents." These nurses are rebelling against the "cure" paradigm.
Palliation and "care" are beautiful, under-utilized concepts. Ultimately, as Americans confront the notion that we can provide more health care than we can afford to provide, embracing palliation and "care" will become the face of health care.
I formerly did case management on high tech peds cases. These children and their families needed care vs cure thinking injected into their cases. So much was done to these children because we had the technology and it could be done. But little was done in the way of asking, "SHOULD it be done?" Even when the questions were asked the families were so wrapped up in the fast-moving, high tech care "steam engine", that families felt paralyzed to jump off of the train. They'd already entered into the curative mindset culture. Pursuing the elusive "curative" technology in these children's cases OFTEN forced their families into a frankly dysfunctional maelstrom.
As a culture, families and the public expect miracles, cures, happy endings. They've seen that outcome out of high tech care so often, that they ill conceive of anything else. But the fact is that high tech care often serves people poorly.
viva la palliation!