Table 4

Themes from interviews with nurse participants after the project

Most valued component
  • Access to palliative experts

  • Interdisciplinary team support

  • Access to on-call services

“[M]ade a huge difference. Even just, you know, even though I didn’t have to access it very often, you know it’s there …. You know that, okay, this guy is really sick, if I get called there in middle of the night … I’ve got somebody else I can call instead of sitting there and thinking, okay well, I’ve done what I can but …”
Effects on role or practice
  • Confidence in decision making

  • Better anticipation of needs

“To pick somebody’s brain … when you’re in a situation and you’re thinking, okay … I don’t know what else to do here …. We’ve done everything we can do, and it was just nice to have that one person that you could just access and say ... okay [refers to Advanced Practice Nurse] what do I do now? …. She opened up different options, okay, maybe go this way instead of … you’re leaning too far that way, or she just gave you more insight”
Coordination of care
  • Trust and respect between nurses and physicians

  • Quality of communication

  • Access to home services

“[T]he network has been amazing ... even in the daytime. If the family doctor was on the project … I could phone in and … we were put right through to the doctors, and things were dealt with right away. And if the doctor wasn’t working there was always someone covering. And you were just put right through, and … I mean it was amazing. I’ve worked in [refers to town], and it’s like road block, STOP! Can’t go any further. It’s just horrible …. This was like [a] highway”
Effects on quality of care
  • Enabled home death

  • Adjustment support

“[W]e would never have gotten to the place before death that we were at … one situation was a single mom ... teenage kids … the psychosocial counselor … did a huge amount in getting things in order … helping them work out finances … preparing to get a minister in place … she wanted to stay at home [and] the teens couldn’t care for her … to be able to provide that care and have her stay home … she was able to accomplish everything she wanted before death … it involved shift nursing … visiting nursing … chaplain”