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Principles of patient and family assessment 

Principles of patient and family assessment
Chapter:
Principles of patient and family assessment
Author(s):

John D. Chovan

, Douglas Cluxton

, and Patrice Rancour

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199332342.003.0004
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date: 12 November 2018

A comprehensive palliative care nursing assessment of the patient and family occurs throughout the trajectory of the illness and is a holistic view that includes the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual domains. Patient and family assessment provides the foundation for mutual goal setting, devising a plan of care, implementing interventions, and evaluating the effectiveness of care. Reassessments are done throughout the patient’s illness, looking for changes from previous assessments to ensure that quality of life is maximized in all domains. The palliative care nurse understands above all that, irrespective of the phase or focus of the assessment, two of the most important assessment questions the nurse can ask the patient and family are “What is your greatest concern?” and “How can I be of help?”

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