Palliative and Hospice for End of Life Care
The notion of death and the process of dying are often experienced as tragedies, especially in the western culture. Thus, the medical model of care performed in our western culture includes life-saving measures and curative treatments. However, there may be a time in a person’s life when a cure may no longer be an option. That is the time when palliative or hospice care can step in to afford the patient and the family the opportunity to maximize the remaining time spent together. This paper will compare and contrast palliative care with the hospice model. In addition, end-of-life care related to physical well-being, psychological well-being, social well-being, and spiritual well-being will be addressed based on my experience as a student nurse with Hospice of San Joaquin. Finally, the views of end-of-life care will be discussed as it relates to the hospice model.
Palliative care and hospice care share a common thread. They are both models of care that take a holistic and individualized approach to anticipate and alleviate the symptoms and suffering that arise from chronic and terminal illnesses (Witt Sherman, D., & Cheon, J., 2012). They both encompass the patient and family as the center of care and provide comprehensive assessments and comfort measures to patients with terminal illnesses. The care continues past the death of the patient and can continue into the bereavement period for family. Hospice will continue to support the bereaved family up to one year past the death of the patient (Hospice of San Joaquin, 2010). Both models utilize an interdisciplinary approach to care with team members that include physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual members, massage therapists, and home health aids and others. Palliative care can be utilized during any time during the course of an illness and disease process. The cost of cure can be extensive and both palliative and hospice care limit medical interventions...
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