Giving Patients the Freedom to Choose Drives Home-Based Nurses

BRHS Nurses Carolyn Nelson and Tamara Freeman. Photo: Jake Lynch/BRHS

 

For the first time, in 2018/19 the majority of our Home-Based Nursing palliative care patients chose to spend their final moments in their home – 31 of a total 52 patients.

For BRHS’ Nursing Unit Manager Ray Dale, who has worked in healthcare in this region for more than 30 years, that’s a positive trend.

“We place a huge emphasis on choice – on allowing people to make their own decisions about their treatment during this very personal time,” Ray said. “Increasingly, that includes people wanting to be in their homes. And we work really hard to accommodate that.”

He said the trend toward home-based palliative care is partly a broader cultural shift, but also believes it’s the result of a growing appreciation for the quality of home-based palliative care services in the area.

“As more people in the community become aware of what we do, and talk to each other about how good the Home-Based Nursing services are here at BRHS, we’re seeing more people take advantage of our service.”

“Two or three years ago less than half our palliative patients choose to have us help them pass away in their home,” Ray says. “But as more people in the community become aware of what we do, and talk to each other about how good the Home-Based Nursing services are here at BRHS, we’re seeing more people take advantage of our service.”

Helping patients avoid hospital stays whenever possible, including during palliative care, has a myriad of benefits.

Not only has it been shown to have a positive impact on a patient’s comfort levels and feelings of independence and emotional wellbeing, it also helps ensure we have the capacity in the wards to allow us to serve patients that require admission.

There’s more information about our Home-Based Nursing services at www.brhs.com.au/service/at-home-services/home-based-nursing/