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Helen Pyle – Lead Physician, Ian Anderson House, Oakville, ON: 

We try to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to ask whatever questions they have about any patient or any topic. We make sure that we are empathetic when answering any question no matter how basic or complex. But the longer the nurses are with the team the more challenging their questions have become. We also have nurses for whom English is not their first language, and they are invaluable for our patients who don’t speak English. I recently had a lady in her last five days of life who only spoke Polish. Fortunately we have a nurse who also speaks Polish, so we made a request to ensure that this nurse assisted this patient. It required a switch of agencies and our request for our polish speaking nurse to make the patient and family more comfortable. It worked really well!

Palliative Nurse Practitioner – Niagara North: 

Dr. Dooler and I have worked together in a similar collaborative relationship. We keep the communication very open. We share and ask questions of one another and we brainstorm weekly ways to optimize care plans.

Clinical Navigator – Niagara North: 

We are very fortunate to work in a small office where we all share the space. This allows us to communicate daily about patient concerns. As a team, we are all aware of the role each team member plays and the contributions they make; and we all have the highest respect and appreciation for one another. We work in a way that is best for our team and for our community.

Health Care Professional – Central LHIN: 

By modeling this behavior with the teams. Discussing and showing the importance of trust and mutual respect and reinforcing a high standard of practice within our team.

Cheryl Moore, Director, Stedman Hospice: 

There is no hierarchy in the team, everyone is equally as important.


Denise Marshall – Chair of Ontario’s Collaborative Palliative Care Clinical Council:

We build trust in relationships through lived experiences; it behooves us to see this as a long term investment. When we look at building trust and respect, and reliability, it’s the essence of this relationship, you do this and I do this, and you do this and I do this, and we learn that dance with one another over time.


Health Care Professional: 

In the palliative care team settings I have worked in, fostering trust and mutual respect has actually never been a problem because we’re not a team of strangers coming together to do palliative care, we work together every day. When you are trying to create the palliative care team, you are bringing together providers for a common purpose and building on relationships and trust that already exists. If you have a strong intact, collaborative group of care professionals working in a community, palliative care just enhances the working relationships that are already there.

Health Care Professional: 

We work to build very strong relationships with our long term care residents. Because of the work that we do, we need that trust and that respect; we need to show dignity to them, until the very end, because they deserve it. With our team, staff, and primary care it’s really important that we work together. We’re looking after the same people every day and we get to know one another very well, it is like family among the staff. When there are moments when one of the providers needs help, our team steps in. That kind of a relationship has helped us provide better care, not only for residents, but self-care, as well. We also have partnerships with community organizations that enable us to arrange palliative care education sessions to our front line workers. These opportunities help us to come together as a unit and realize our goal of providing a good death.

Health Care Professional: 

To build trust and mutual respect the team members must actually be physically together on occasion. One of the things that we’ve been able to do successfully in our region is organize cross-sector, interdisciplinary, regular patient rounds. Not just education rounds, but rounds that actually speak about individual patients and their needs. That has been a really important building block in terms of respect, communication, and the team members understanding each other’s roles, and to actually be together and talk about their mutual concerns.

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