Owen R Living with the enemy: Coping with stress of chronic illness using CBT, mindfulness and acceptance.Oxford: Routledge; 2014

The realities of work/life balance in palliative care

02 March 2024
Volume 29 · Issue 3

A long-established philosophy for palliative care is still dominant today and constantly drives the care delivered in practice. This philosophy is deeply embedded in enhancing quality of life to ensure the inevitable advent of death is bearable and that life after death for the family is manageable on an emotional level. To achieve these outcomes, community nurses and other healthcare professionals engage in genuine caring which, among other things, involves encountering the intense emotional and psychological needs of patients. It also involves supporting patients to ‘live with the enemy’ (Owen, 2014)—knowing death is on the horizon—which is threatening to their whole existence. In addition, support is extended to the family and those deemed important to the patient. One could surmise that it is because of these demands on an individual in palliative care that the idea of having a work/life balance is believed to be important, and helps to relieve stress and emotional pressure on healthcare professionals.

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