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Psychological affects of End-of-Life Care

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Psychological affects of End-of-Life Care

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  • December 18, 2013
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Psychological Effects of End-Of-Life Care

As people approach the end of their lives, they with their families and their caregivers, face many tasks and decisions. They may be psychological, spiritual, or medical in nature, but all end-of-life choices and medical decisions have complex psychological components, ramifications, and consequences that have a significant impact on the suffering patients and their caregivers. Hospice is a special healthcare option for patients and families faced with a terminal illness. At Hospice there’s a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses social workers, bereavement counselors and volunteers that work together to address the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of each patient and family members (“Hospice”). The main focus of Hospice is to address the issues that are most important to the patients’ needs or wants at the end of his/her life. The term “Hospice” comes from medieval times when it referred to a place of shelter and rest for weary or ill travelers on a long journey (Hospice). The name was first applied to specialized care for dying patients by Physician Dame Cicely Saunders, who began her work with the terminally ill in 1948 and eventually went on to create the first modern hospice—St. Christopher’s Hospice—in a residential suburb of London (National). Her lecture, given to medical students, nurses, social workers, and chaplains about the concept of holistic hospice care, included photos of terminally ill cancer patients and their families, showing the dramatic differences before and after the symptom control care. This later resulted in the development of hospice care as you know it today (National). Caregiving is associated with physical, psychological, and financial burdens. Hospice nurses perform many traditional nursing duties such as observing, assessing, and recording symptoms. They still work closely with physicians, administering medications and providing emotional support, although...