The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), an ONS health policy priority that supports both patients and the profession, returned to the U.S. Senate floor in May 2022. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) reintroduced the bill to improve and sustain the workforce and the well-being of patients and their families with life-threatening illnesses.
The bill outlines three key approaches to improve patient care and quality of life:
Expand interprofessional healthcare workforce training in palliative and hospice care and establish programs to attract and retain providers.
Connect patients, families, and healthcare professionals to information and resources about the benefits of palliative care and the services to support them during a serious or life-threatening illness.
Direct the National Institutes of Health to use existing authority and funds to expand palliative care research, advance clinical practice, and improve care delivery for patients with serious or life-threatening illness.
“We are grateful for Senator Baldwin’s leadership in introducing the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act,” Ginger Marshall, MSN, ACNP-BC, ACHPN, FPCN, chief executive officer, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, said. “It is a significant achievement and recognizes the dire need to strengthen the palliative workforce by providing robust education and training for nurses.”
“Having served as my grandmother’s primary caregiver as she grew older, this issue is near and dear to me, and I want to make a difference for families like mine experiencing health concerns,” Baldwin said.
“Access to high quality palliative and hospice care services is vital for patients and their families,” Capito said. “As a caregiver for parents living with Alzheimer’s disease, I saw firsthand just how valuable these services are.”
Palliative care benefits all patients with cancer and reintroduction of PCHETA supports oncology nurses and other healthcare providers as they deliver that care. By addressing symptoms and side effects, oncology nurses help patients maintain quality of life throughout their treatment and overcome psychological, social, and spiritual challenges.