Intensive care nurse earns Palliative Care Award
Palliative care is a clinical practice focused on easing suffering and improving quality of life for patients with severe illness. “Palliative care helps patients maximize the life they can have while living with a chronic disease or severe illness,” said Legacy Mount Hood Intensive Care Nurse Andrea Nutt, R.N.
Nutt received Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center’s Nursing Excellence Award in Palliative Care for her work in the intensive care unit. The peer nominated award recognizes nurses who demonstrate expertise, compassion, and dedication to the practice of palliative care. Award recipients are selected for communication, advocacy, pain and symptom management, and team work.
Palliative care is a collaborative process between healthcare experts and patients. Palliative care practitioners empower patients to have a voice in their clinical care guided by the patient’s preferences and to be involved in decisions about medical treatments that impact their health.
Nutt is known for her compassionate advocacy for palliative care for severely ill patients. “Andrea has a gentle style that allows patients and families to trust her with their feelings and wishes about medical procedures that may be used in the ICU,” said Nurse Supervisor Suzanne Hockley who nominated Nutt for the award. “She is committed to easing suffering, getting the patient the care they need, and making sure patients are at the center of care plan decisions.”
Using conversation and health education, Nutt helps patients and families understand what the future might look like, and along with the clinical team, guide the patient in making the best decisions based on their health condition. Medical procedures in the ICU are usually invasive and can require more complex care management. “It’s important for them, in collaboration with their medical team, to pick a path that best meets their goals and needs,” said Nutt. “We talk about their condition, the expected benefits and risks of procedures, and how these actions may affect their health outcomes,” said Nutt. “Our goal is to help patients have the best and longest life they can while living with a chronic disease or severe illness.”
Palliative care consultation and care are usually initiated in the hospital by medical staff. Patients and their families may request a palliative care consultation when they need more understanding about the patient’s acute or chronic condition and how best to move forward.