The practice of palliative care clinical nurse specialists in the care of cancer patients in the State of Qatar

Shaikhah Al-Keldi, Hodan Ibrahim, Zeinab Idris, Ayman Allam


Background and objective: There is an annual increase in the number of metastatic advanced cancer patients who require palliative care; this is paralleled by the necessary increase in the workload of palliative care Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). Palliative care CNSs are crucial members in the palliative care multidisciplinary team. The aim of this paper is to describe the role of clinical nurse specialists by clarifying the ambiguity of their responsibilities in advanced cancer patients' care in the state of Qatar.

Methods: Data used in this descriptive study were extracted from a shared Excel data registry system that has been created by palliative care CNSs. Data were retrieved from the 1st of January 2021 till the 31st of December 2021 and translated into numbers and percentages.  

Results: A total of 3,571 patients' encounters were captured starting from the 1st of January 2021 till the 31st of December 2021. National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) inpatient's encounters (33%), followed by telephone consultations (32%) were the highest two approaches to palliative care services delivered by CNSs. Pain and non-pain symptoms management, early introduction to palliative care, patient and family education and support, end-of-life care, and coordination of care with other health care professionals are few examples of the other services offered by palliative care CNSs for cancer patients at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

Conclusions: Palliative care CNSs’ roles are multidimensional and highly needed. Some of their clinical activities are unnoticed, especially due to the high number of patients’ encounters and the different geographic locations at HMC that CNSs cover. Future research is highly needed to describe the role of palliative care CNSs in areas, such as research, education, and leadership.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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