Hospice Care Plan
Hospice Care Plan
Mrs. Thomas has a history of breast cancer and is status post bilateral mastectomies with subsequent radiation and chemotherapy treatments. She has recently been diagnosed with lung metastasis and further treatment is not recommended by her physician and due to a poor prognosis he is recommending palliative care. Mrs. Thomas has been spending most of her days in her bed crying. She has had very little contact with her sons and their families as they live out of state and she has voiced that she doesn’t want to burden them with her illness. Mr. Thomas is attempting to provide for his wife, yet he suffers from chronic depression and is showing signs of increasing depression and often forgets to take his medications. Mrs. Thomas’s physician has made a referral to the local community health nurse to assist Mrs. Thomas and her family. The community health nurse’s role is unique in that she is knowledgeable of the resources available in the community to assist clients and families. The nurse can serve Mrs. Thomas and her family by assessing the current needs of the family, providing information about available resources that may be of assistance to the family as well as providing referrals as appropriate for any treatment and care that Mrs. Thomas will require now and in the future in dealing with her terminal illness.
Personal Perceptions To Caring for Terminal Patients
Caring for terminally ill patients and their families can be a challenging but rewarding nursing experience. It is important for a nurse to be able to be comfortable with one’s own beliefs about death and dying as well as believing that the quality of life is more important than the quantity of life in order to be effective in helping those that are terminally ill. It has taken many years of professional clinical experience and education in the field of palliative care that has led this writer to be comfortable with the death and dying process. It is a personal belief that death is the reality in life and can and should be a natural process. A nurse comfortable in the dying process can have a positive impact on patients and their families. It is a great privilege to be able to care for those that are dying and to be able to assist the families at the end of their loved one’s life. It is the belief of this writer that being clinically competent, having the unique ability to be empathetic toward those that are terminally ill and having a positive attitude toward death greatly enhances one’s nursing ability to effectively care for terminally ill patients and their loved ones. How to Improve the Quality of Life
The community health nurse’s first priority and an important first strategy in assisting Mrs. Thomas would be to conduct a home visit in order to perform a comprehensive assessment of Mrs. Thomas’s physical, psychological and social state of wellbeing. It is important for the nurse to plan with Mrs. Thomas as to a suitable day and time for her. It would be valuable to have Mr. Thomas and other family members present as well. The nurse with Mrs. Thomas’s consent could make telephone calls to the sons and their families inviting them to attend. If they are unable to attend, the nurse could arrange for communication via a speaker telephone call or perhaps a computer generated visit via Skype for instance. It would be important to establish an atmosphere of trust between the nurse and the patient and her family during this home visit. This trust will greatly influence the nurse’s ability to assist the patient and her family. Education would be the key to helping them understand that the nurse’s role would be one of being an advocate for them in navigating the health care system and finding community resources to assist them at this difficult time. It is important during this first home visit to assess the patient’s knowledge of her disease...
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