"Challenging the Boundaries on Hospice and Palliative Care: A Literature Review"

The purpose of this review was to examine the boundaries limiting access to hospice and palliative care services and to describe the benefits of these services for those who need them.

Each person approaches death differently, bringing to this final experience his or her own individual perception of death. Hospice and palliative services are two available options for patients and families to obtain this experience. Hospice recognizes dying as part of the normal process of living and focuses on maintaining the quality of life each day. On the other hand, palliative care strives to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for patients and their caregivers facing serious illness. There are barriers to accessing hospice and palliative care services including costs, legal restrictions and lack of knowledge about these services to enable the patient and their families to make choices. The first step in this project is to infuse end-of-life/palliative content in the nursing curriculum from the undergraduate to the doctoral level and prepare students for higher levels of education for specialized nursing practice. The second step is to develop community partnerships to prepare nursing faculty to lead in providing evidence-based-care for cancer patients throughout the trajectory of their disease-from diagnosis to the end of life, provide opportunities for students to enhance their clinical skills in providing quality cancer care, provide opportunity to oncology nurses to serve as preceptors/mentors for students and faculty, and maintain a joint faculty practice with a hospice/palliative care team.