Background For patients approaching end of life, the majority have a preference to be cared for and to die at home (de Roo et al., 2014). Community palliative care makes a key contribution towards this goal. With the increased demand on these services, there will be an increase in the number of registered nurses and health care support workers needed to meet these needs. As an organisation we need to support this through initiatives to aid the recruitment, retention, job satisfaction and performance of staff working in this setting. There is a lack of previous research on the impact of transition to palliative community care on the member of staff. As far as the research team is aware, this is the first study to explore the role of the nurse preceptor in palliative care with both registered nurses and health care assistants.
Aims To develop an understanding of the nurse preceptor role in community palliative care to explore the experience of the nurse preceptor in community palliative care to identify the barriers and rewards of undertaking this role.
Method All nurses (n=12) undertaking the preceptor role were approached an invited to participate in the research study. 7 preceptors participated over two scheduled focus group sessions, two withdrew from preceptorship prior to the focus groups. At the end of the focus group interviews the participants were debriefed.
Results Four key themes were identified:
supporting the individual, promoting clinical readiness, confidence building, and advocacy and the preceptor.
Conclusion Preparation of new staff into the role of a community palliative health care worker is essential to development, support and integration of the individual into the new working environment as well as the organisation. Lone working is a requirement within our community palliative care services and was identified as a major concern in focus groups as well as the potential impacts and scope for development in relation to this.
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