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“Operating in the dark”: Nurses’ attempts to help patients and families manage the transition from oncology to comfort care

Communicating with oncology patients/families transitioning from curative treatments to care focused on comfort can be problematic due to a variety of factors. Research suggests discrepancies exist between physicians’ perspectives on patient probable length of life and patients’ beliefs. These disconnects can deepen suffering. Oncology and palliative care nurses are well positioned to facilitate this transition. However, they receive little formal instruction regarding these complex scenarios beyond what occurs through on‐the‐job training.