April 09, 2015
Death and Dying
Dealing with death or dying is not a topic that comes easy to any one. Death affects everyone differently and therefore we have a responsibility to comfort each individual in end of life care. It’s important to remember that patients will die the way that they lived and people in the nursing profession respect this. Everyone is scared of dying; as nurses we must help them face this fear. We cannot write the script for this patient, it is solely their choice on how they plan to leave the world. Through support and encouragement, nurses can make a huge difference in how patients face death. Patients often want a sense of control when it comes to dying and most patients need to talk about what they are going through. Communication with patients not only helps the patient, but it also helps the nurse caring for a dying patient. Giving the patients options and control in situations allows them to have a sense of control over dying. Giving patients our undivided attention permits the patients to talk through their issues of their death without confrontation. Psychical contact with the patients allows nurses to gain a greater relationship and understanding with the patient. Even a shaking of the hand is enough contact to give a patient a sense of comfort. It has to be okay with you that the patient does not want to talk a lot and you do not have to talk to them for there to a professional nursing relationship. Even eye contact and sitting on the bed reassures the patient that they are not alone in this time. Looking at your watch, door-side nursing, and avoiding psychical contact prevents a strong relationship from occurring. Asking the patients what they want out of end of life care treatment is important in a nursing setting. We cannot stop the tragedy, of death but we can make a sense of work out of it. Understanding that the dying patient is a person often helps us to make better nursing decisions. The patients...
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