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“When the heart keeps beating”

“When the heart keeps beating”

Last week I attended the Palliative Care Nurses New Zealand national conference in Wellington. The theme of the conference was – ‘United we stand – Strengthening the Links’.

The Hon Tariana Turia – Associate Minister of Health gave the opening address. In her speech she spoke of an integrated approach and collaboration of services in the care of patients requiring palliative care. This would assist in cost effectiveness of resources and allow for seamless care. She endorsed the work of palliative care nurses in supporting patients and families throughout their journey of illness.

The key note speaker was Professor Nel Glass – the Director of the Nursing Research Unit: ACU National/St Vincents & Mercy Private Hospital, Victoria, Australia. Her presentations focused on ‘Engaging Collaboratively and Standing Tall: Successful Inter-professional Relationships in Palliative Care’ and ‘Strengthening Personal and Professional Capacity in Palliative Care: The Role of Hope, Optimism and Resilience’.

This led in well for my presentation in talking about ‘When the Heart Keeps Beating: Growing Resiliency in the Waiting Place’. With modern technology and medicine there are more ‘success’ stories of survival of life. But what does this mean for the child who lives with complex health needs and for the family supporting their child in the community when because of this advanced care the heart keeps beating? As the care becomes more complex, what does this mean for the health professionals providing the service delivery that will grow the family’s resilience as they live with the impact of caring for a seriously ill child? These issues are something that health providers need to be mindful of in supporting families.

As True Colours supports children, young people and their families my hope is that when the child and family are placed at the centre of care then they will feel strengthened and resiliency is enhanced.


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