Public Health Nursing

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A Public Health Nurse’s Role in a Cancer Patient’s Home Setting A. An RN’s perceptions
Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is, no doubt, devastating for the one diagnosed and their loved ones as well. My hope is that dying is an option that is used as a last resort when all other resources have been exhausted. Eventually it can be something that allows them to have a sense of peace. Nurses are often there for patients before the patient has come to terms with their fate. In various settings, I have to be aware of how I feel about death and dying so that I can address the patient’s concerns in the most sympathetic and professional way possible. Until one is put in a similar situation, it is hard to say what one would do when faced with such a tragedy. PHNs need to have an open mind about how a patient may react and be knowledgeable of end-of-life care, including the physical, spiritual, emotional, cultural, and financial aspects of it. Palliative care and hospice care are not about curing the patient, but rather about making them comfortable. It is important that the patient feels that they are in control of their plan of care and that the loved ones are happy that their wishes are being fulfilled. Often, the physical aspects of it are the most predictable for me, as the nurse, and most traumatic for the loved ones. The nurse should be able to explain to the loved ones what is going to or what could happen before it takes place. And they should be prepared to listen to the patient and/or family members express their concerns through their tears, hold their hand if needed, and offer support to help them accept their fate. B. Strategies to Improve Quality of Life for Mr. and Mrs. Thomas 1. Pain Management

Pain management should be a goal for the PHN. The patient needs to understand that she will likely be on these medications for the rest of her life and that it is not necessary to worry about addiction. There is no need to suffer from pain when there is an...
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