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Educating Nurses About End-of-Life Care for Patients With Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillators

Conelius, Jaclyn, PhD, FNP-BC, FHRS; Mager, Diana, DNP, RN-BC

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: October 2018 - Volume 20 - Issue 5 - p 459–463
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000462
Feature Articles

Many people with implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are living at home and receiving nursing services through home health care agencies. Near the end of life, it is not unusual for patients to request comfort measures and care that promotes quality rather than quantity of life. The purpose of this pilot study was twofold: (1) to educate home health care nurses on care of patients with ICDs nearing the end of life and (2) to measure changes in nurse knowledge pre to post educational session. None of the registered nurses in this study reported ever caring for a patient who had died with an ICD in place. Subsequently, their knowledge in end-of-life care surrounding this patient population significantly improved after the educational session (P < .006). Knowing how to care for such patients as they are dying is imperative for nurses, especially because many ICD recipients have insufficient knowledge themselves and can benefit from education provided by nurses.

Jaclyn Conelius, PhD, FNP-BC, FHRS, is associate professor and FNP track coordinator, Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies, Fairfield University, CT.

Diana Mager, DNP, RN-BC, is associate professor, Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies, Fairfield University CT.

Address correspondence to Jaclyn Conelius, PhD, FNP-BC, FHRS, Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies, Fairfield University, 1073 North Benson Rd, Fairfield, CT 06824 (jconelius@fairfield.edu).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2018 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.