Long Term Illness

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In this assignment a focus on an individual with the long term illness/ condition of a stroke will be undertaken, examining the impact of the condition/illness from the perspective of the individual and their family and also the impact of person centred care upon nursing practice. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2008) Code of Professional Conduct Guidance has been maintained throughout this essay and therefore, all names have been altered for the purpose of confidentiality and anonymity.

Currently there are around 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK, which is every year an estimated 152,000 people. More than half have been left with disabilities that affect their daily life. Stroke can affect anyone, no matter what their age. Around a third of all strokes happen to people under the age of 65, and around 400 children (0-18) have a stroke each year. Furthermore stroke is the largest cause of complex disability in adults. (Stroke Association 2012).

A stroke is caused by the interruption of the blood supply to the brain, usually because a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by a clot. This cuts off the supply of oxygen and nutrients, causing damage to the brain tissue (WHO 2012).

Mary is a 75 year old white British lady who suffered from a Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke) approximately five years ago. She is a divorced lady who lives alone in a two storey house, however she has three children and numerous grandchildren who live within walking distance and whom visit on a daily basis. Mary was admitted to hospital as she had sustained a fall, fortunately nothing was broken, but she had suffered with severe bruising to her face and left side of her body resulting in loss of confidence. Mary currently takes medication for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia which her G.P monitors quite closely. On assessment it was identified that Mary has been finding it hard to accept her diagnosis, she was hoping that she would return to the same quality of life that she had before the stroke as she had never been poorly or took medication prior to this happening. CHSS (2012) state that denial initially protects you from being overwhelmed by the changes in your life. Some people may become 'stuck' in denial.

The author has chosen this condition/illness as her grandmother suffered from a stroke 10 years ago and fights everyday with her disability, because of this experience the author decided to join the nursing profession and possibly work on a stroke unit or neurology department. This assignment will help to support, educate and contribute to patients ability to care for themselves after being diagnosed with any long term illness and will be part of life long learning, the Royal College of Nursing explain that nurses are committed to lifelong learning and continuous professional development (RCN 2012).

Clinical reasons for choosing this condition/illness are that on this placement the author was allocated with the stoma nurses which gave her the opportunity to work on the wards of her choice on the final two weeks of the placement, she chose the stroke unit which also allowed her to complete many achievements and outcomes for example proficiency 2.4 was met which involved working with patients and families in order to use their strengths to achieve their goals and aspirations.

As a nurse it is vital that patient centred care is met in today's NHS and the care management of patients with a long term condition meaning putting the patient and their experience foremost, through communication, discussion of treatment options, potential outcomes and possible psychological effects also empowering the patient and allowing them to make choices about their healthcare (Nursing Standard 2011).

As Mary was admitted with a fall investigatory questions needed to be asked to find out whether trips and falls are a common occurrence within Mary’s life and whether any member of the...
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