Quality of Life and Functioning Keri Wycoff WGU Community Health Nursing HAT (Task 2)
November 17, 2012
QUALITY OF LIFE AND FUNCTIONING Quality of Life and Functioning Personal Perceptions The birth of a baby is often celebrated with excitement and joy as it is a truly wondrous and miraculous event. Life is wondrous and miraculous; as is death. I refer to death in the same manner as the birth of a child not because I am morbid or obsessed with death and dying, but
rather because, in my opinion the end of life is as much a gift as the initiation of life. Witnessing the death of my father a few years ago helped me realize dying is beautiful and equally as miraculous and wonderful as life itself. As a nurse I view caring for a dying patient as a gift. It is an honor to aid a person and their loved ones through this journey and witness the amazing transition from the state of living to the state of death. Being able to support a patient and family from the initial realization that death is imminent to creating a personal plan of care and being there to ensure it is honored truly is at the heart of nursing. It certainly is a personal struggle to see any person suffer the lingering effects of any illness, especially when there is no hope of relief, other than in death. Despite this fact it still brings me great satisfaction knowing that one’s wishes are being executed and that I can help them through their last months, weeks or days of life. Providing this intimate care gives me a great sense of purpose and makes my work completely worthwhile and satisfying. Strategies In the case of Mrs. Thomas many strategies could be instituted to improve the quality of life for both her and her husband. Utilizing advance care planning, offering respite care as well as grief counseling for the entire family are important and viable options .Ensuring proper pain management and initiation of hospice are additional means of adding quality of life for this
QUALITY OF LIFE AND FUNCTIONING patient and her spouse. Advocating for these services is the community health nurses responsibility and can make the family’s experience one of beauty. Addressing Mrs. Thomas’ understanding of her illness, learning her wishes and discussing advanced care planning would aid in the completion of an advanced directive. This would foster the provision of holistic and respectful care to her throughout the dying process while supporting her family and loved ones. Tertiary prevention will focus on preventing complications from her illness with the provision of palliative care measures thus improving the quality of life for the entire family, including the patient (Clark, 2008, p. 534). Promoting family participation in the care of Mrs. Thomas will also aid in increased
quality of life. Given she believes she is a burden and her sons report it is difficult to visit due to her illness, grief counseling for all members of this family is imperative. Facing her illness and dealing with her impending death are obviously frightening and painful issues, but nonetheless real. Learning to cope with these issues and the anticipatory grief will enhance relationships, empower family members, boost her moral, and help the family maximize their remaining time together (Grief Counseling, n.d., para. 11). Managing Mr. Thomas’ chronic depression Provisions for respite care are essential for Mr. Thomas as the stress of caring for a loved one is profound. His personal struggle with depression, mounting financial burdens and work pressures make an already stressful situation even more difficult to manage. Openly and honestly discussing his history of depression and how this is currently affecting him is very important. Helping him to recognize signs and symptoms of distress and giving him resources to use in the event of an emotional crisis are essential. Encouraging him to work with his doctor for medical...