A Case study of A Patient Suffering With A Long Term Health Problem
The care and management of patients suffering with a long term condition is an integral part of the nurse’s role. With approximately 15 million people in the UK suffering from at least one chronic illness (DoH, 2012), it becomes apparent why the Department of Health (DoH) and the National Health Service (NHS) have had to put in to place advice and guidelines in order that the appropriate measures are taken to ensure that these patients are cared for in the most productive way. This essay is going to discuss the issues that are associated with long term conditions and chronic illness. The focus of this discussion is going to be a case study on a patient who is currently an inpatient in an intermediate care setting. To maintain patient confidentiality, the patient will be known as Mrs P for the sake of this essay. The patient in question is an 84 year old lady who lives with her 86 year old husband in a small semi-detached house (See attached appendix for a full history of Mrs P). Mrs P was initially admitted in to hospital after a succession of falls in a short proximity of time and has since been newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disease effecting the neurons within the brain (Lang et al,2001). The main symptoms that sufferers experience are tremors, rigidity and slowness of movement. Other symptoms can include pain, fatigue, constipation and depression (Parkinson UK, 2012). For Mrs P, the symptoms that she experienced were closely associated with her ability to move safely which resulted in the falls that occurred. For this reason, the topic of mobility as an actual problem and falls being the potential problem has been identified and has been chosen as an area of focus in relation to Parkinson’s as a long term condition. To be able to analyse this discussion, a model of nursing will be used which in this case is Roper, Logan and Tierney’s activities of daily living (1998). The Department of Health states that ‘Chronic Diseases are diseases, which current medical interventions can only control, not cure. The life of a person with a chronic condition is forever altered- there is no return to normal’ (DoH, 2004). People as a whole tend to live longer, so it is unsurprising that more and more people are suffering with a long term medical condition that they will have to live with for the remainder of their lives. We as nurses need to have the knowledge and skills to be able to successfully manage these conditions and to assist our patients to have the best quality of life possible. The department of health has set up a series of frameworks in order to ensure that quality requirements are met within the NHS and Social Services. These frameworks are called National Service Frameworks (NSF) and have been put in place as guidelines to reduce differences in the treatment, care and support that patients receive (DoH, 2005). The NSF for long term conditions was published in 2005 and consists of ten main aims which include: services which are easier to use and more closely matched to people’s needs; ensuring that services are better at helping people with neurological conditions and their carers to make decisions about care and treatment; Giving people with long-term neurological conditions better results from their treatment and assisting people to carry on living independently (DoH, 2005). This framework also plays a key role in ensuring that patients with a suspected neurological disease are diagnosed as quickly as possible so that the appropriate treatment can be commenced. In the case of Mrs P, her symptoms did suggest that she may have Parkinson’s disease therefore it was vital that the diagnosis was made as soon as possible. For Mrs P, the time frame from the beginning of the symptoms to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease was three weeks. However, before a formal diagnosis was made, the drug...
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