1. Gould, Kathleen Ahern PhD, RN

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American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) Critical Care Webinar Series

Palliative Care in the ICU: Critical Communication Skills


Wendy Anderson, MD, MS


Kathleen Turner, RN, BSN, CHPN, CCRN-CMC. July 2016


This 45-minute Webinar is available at at no cost to AACN members and a $5.00 fee for nonmembers. Continuing education units are awarded at the completion of the course.


Palliative care requires a holistic approach to patient care. It emphasizes symptom management, psychosocial support, and skilled communication. Critical care nurses are often called upon to guide patients and families through this phase of care.


In this Webinar, Anderson and Turner describe both primary and specialty palliative care and resources that critical care nurses can apply in adopting this approach. The process of enhancing communication between the health care team and the families of critically ill patients is discussed, and specific strategies are identified. The Webinar goals include to (1) define the role of the bedside nurse in providing primary palliative care, (2) identify interventions and resources that apply to the provision of palliative care in intensive care unit settings, and (3) describe strategies for communicating with families and the health care team about the prognosis and goals of care.


Goldacre, B. Bad Pharma: How Medicine is Broken, and How We Can Fix It. London, England: Harper Collins; 2013.

Ben Goldacre is a physician and academic who clearly states that medicine is broken. He proclaims that the evidence used to make health care decisions is distorted. His goal is a passionate call for more transparency in research. Goldacre alerts us to missing data-information that may be essential to evidence-because many research studies remain unpublished or underreported. Goldacre points out that often researchers cherry-pick results and offer a partial view, perhaps when data provide unflattering views on a drug or a product. Patients may be harmed when providers do not have access to the negative results of studies. In this book, he cites many examples of distorted evidence-leading good providers toward prescribing treatments or drugs without sufficient evidence.


This work is a call to action for researchers, academics, and providers.