"Dying in America: Taking control at the end of life"

"Dying in America: Taking control at the end of life"

Fairfield University's School of Nursing Second Annual Lecture

Image: Betty Ferrell The Second Annual School of Nursing Lecture, "Dying in America: Taking Control at the End of Life," will be given at Fairfield University on Monday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. by the noted oncology nurse and researcher Betty R. Ferrell, Ph.D., RN, FAAN. Dr. Ferrell's vocation has been to equip caregivers with the knowledge to meet the unique needs of terminally ill patients and their families.

The lecture is free. However, tickets are necessary. Please call the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts' Box Office at (203) 254-4000, ext. 4010.

An oncology nurse for 29 years, Dr. Ferrell has focused her clinical expertise and research on pain management and end of life care. "What I hope to do in this talk is focus on communicating how to prepare for care in the final months or years of life," said Dr. Ferrell, a professor in the Department of Nursing Research & Education at City of Hope (COH) National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif. "It's wise to be aware of the choices that need to be made for our grandparents, our parents and our selves.

"This is not just for people with cancer, but people diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and heart conditions," Dr. Ferrell continued. "It is not good to wait until a crisis to start thinking about care. One must start thinking now."

As medical advances make it possible for patients to live longer with illness, patients and families often turn to nurses for advice and information when facing difficult healthcare decisions. In keeping with the Jesuit mission of service to others, Fairfield University's School of Nursing aims to provide nursing students with the knowledge they need to offer the most effective and compassionate care to patients.

Jeanne Novotny, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Dean of the School of Nursing, said the goal of palliative care is to allow individuals to die in a manner that allows them choices. "Palliative care has recently undergone a great deal of research, and the role of the nurse at the end of life is becoming better defined. It is a great honor to have Dr. Ferrell as our keynote speaker because her work in the areas of pain management, quality of life and end-of-life care for terminally ill patients has been nationally recognized."

Dr. Ferrell has had more than 220 articles published in peer reviewed journals and texts, and is the author of numerous books. She is principal investigator for a study of palliative surgery funded by the American Cancer Society and the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She received her doctorate in Nursing at Texas Woman's University.

The School of Nursing lecture series was launched last year with a lecture by Dr. Oliver Sacks. A grant from the Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation has provided support to bring Dr. Ferrell for this lecture and to spend time with faculty providing staff development for curriculum.

Posted On: 09-18-2006 10:09 AM

Volume: 39 Number: 26