11/17/05 - American Nephrology Nurses' Association Presents New Learning Module to Prepare Nurses for End-of-Life Discussions with Patients

November 17, 2005
Contact: Linda Alexander
856-256-2300, ext. 2411 • linda@ajj.com

American Nephrology Nurses’ Association Presents
New Learning Module to Prepare Nurses for
End-of-Life Discussions with Patients

Pitman, NJ - For nephrology nurses and kidney patients, developing an end-of-life (EOL) care plan is a necessary facet of care. To help nephrology nurses cultivate the skills they need to talk about EOL (or advanced care) planning with patients, the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) has created “Techniques to Facilitate Discussion for Advanced Care Planning (ACP),” a learning module available for free download at www.annanurse.org.

The ACP learning module provides nephrology nurses with the skills needed to initiate discussion of advanced care planning, including advanced directives, with patients. It also outlines how to implement such plans.

The ACP module is the first in ANNA’s End-of-Life Decision-Making and the Role of the Nephrology Nurse series. The EOL series, developed by ANNA’s Ethics Committee, was designed to educate nephrology nurses and provide them with tools for discussing EOL issues with patients and their families. Other modules will be released over the next two years and will cover such topics as:

  • Cultural diversity in EOL decision-making
  • Ethical and legal issues
  • How to break bad news to patients
  • Advanced skills and techniques for discussing advanced care planning with patients

According to Kidney Care Partners, an alliance of patient advocates, dialysis professionals, providers and suppliers working together to improve the quality of care for individuals with end stage renal disease, about 20 million Americans suffer from kidney disease, and of those patients, over 400,000 experience end stage renal disease (irreversible kidney failure) and require dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to survive.

Mary Rose Kott, MS, RN, ANP, CNN, Chairperson of ANNA’s Ethics Committee, emphasizes the importance of advanced care planning in the nephrology community as the kidney patient population continues to grow.  

“Advanced care planning in an ongoing process and should involve the patient, family and the interdisciplinary team to be sure everyone understands what the patient wants and doesn’t want,” said Kott. “Planning ahead and making decisions about end-of-life care also relieves the burden on family members and health care providers in a crisis situation.”

Kott said ANNA developed this learning series because nurses had requested help in having EOL discussions with patients. She said the learning module can be used by any nurse who cares for patients with chronic kidney disease.

To obtain a free copy of the ACP module, visit www.annanurse.org. The End-of-Life Decision-Making and the Role of the Nephrology Nurse series is available in the “Resources” section under “Learning Modules.”

For more information, visit the ANNA Web site, www.annanurse.org, or contact the National Office at East Holly Avenue Box 56, Pitman, NJ 08071-0056; toll free: 888-600-2662; phone: 856-256-2320; fax: 856-589-7463; e-mail: anna@ajj.com.

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ANNA is a professional nursing association with 11,900 members. Its mission is to advance nephrology nursing practice and positively influence outcomes for patients with kidney disease processes requiring replacement therapies through advocacy, scholarship and excellence.