Nursing Times Award Winner

Nurses offers advice relevant to all patients but especially the terminally ill

These ideas were sent in by two nurses who each felt they would have helped their terminally ill relatives. As there were many similarities, we have listed their suggestions together

Make everyone who cares for the patient aware of all their symptoms so that they can be managed appropriately. These may change unexpectedly, so be vigilant.

Be hugely sensitive to the needs of the relatives at this most difficult time. Be aware that some relatives have more knowledge of their loved one's condition than others. Some may want to know more information than others

Treat all patients as you would like to be treated

Ask, if it is possilbe, if they would like to be moved to somewhere where they can have a window view or, at least, something interesting to look at.

If regular mouth care is required, it may be appropriate to teach the relatives how to do it. Though, be sensitive if some are not happy to do that.

If the patient can't settle at night ask if they are a) thirsty b)hot c)in pain and d) if they would like you to sit with them so that you can try and reassure them and, if appropriate, hold their hand.

These are only a few of a long list off possible ideas. If you feel you can add to this list, please let us know by e-mailing us at

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