The key roles for the nurse in the management of heart failure have largely focused on the follow up and monitoring of patients at high risk of hospital (re)admission. Studies reported an improvement in outcome for patients followed up by a multidisciplinary care team in which a nurse was a key player. Such level of care is now recognised in international guidelines. More recent emphasis on the management of acute heart failure has led to a focus on the contribution by nurses to the entire heart failure journey and their roles in improving patient outcome and the delivery of quality care. This paper focuses on the in-patient admission for acute or decompensated heart failure and discusses the involvement of nurses in achieving an effective heart failure service.
Jillian Riley - National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK