Palliative Care Support

Topics: Hospice, Palliative care, Health care Pages: 6 (2305 words) Published: April 22, 2014
Comprehensive account of working and interacting with others in the area of palliative care. The author of this essay is a Health Care Assistant for three years and works as a member of a Hospice Home Care Team. For the purpose of this assignment the author will outline a selection of evidence of their work and interaction with their Palliative Care Clients and the Palliative Care Team. For the privacy and dignity of the client we will refer to the client as John (an alias) and me as the author or HCA (Health Care Assistant). John is a 78 year old single man who has retired from farming. John has a nephew, Tom (name changed to protect his identity) who works at the farm everyday although he lives a few miles away. John is a very happy and independent person; he has many good neighbours who stop in regularly to visit. John was diagnosed with stage 3 Prostate Cancer 4 years ago. The client has undergone treatment however the cancer has spread and tumours have developed in the groin area. John underwent surgery to remove the tumours and contracted MRSA while recovering in hospital. The MRSA has prevented the surgical area from healing completely and as John’s HCA it is my responsibility to change his dressings several times per week. The client is terminal and is currently receiving Palliative Care in his home. The Palliative care team consists of John’s nephew Tom, the local GP, oncologist consultant, Palliative Care Nurse and the HCA. The nephew, Tom, is largely responsible for ensuring that John makes it to his medical appointments and caring for his daily needs. Tom is very busy with farm work and as John’s health has deteriorated he is becoming more reliant on certain members of the Palliative Care Team. Although John’s local GP and Oncologist Consultant are members of the Care Team, they are not involved in the daily care of him. The Palliative Care Nurse is calling in on John once a week and more if necessary. The nurse communicates with the HCA regarding John’s daily care. The HCA is the one member of the team that has daily contact with John and Tom. The HCA keeps a close eye on John’s physical and emotional health. John has been suffering from depression lately and the HCA has communicated her concern to the Palliative Care Nurse. As part of her daily care of John, the HCA has made it a priority to actively listen to John and his sadness over his diminishing ability to care for himself. I make it a point to sit facing John and making eye contact with him, when he becomes very upset I lightly touch his hand and ask what I can do for him. An important aspect of caring for the dying is to Listen. (Kubler Ross, 1969) Clear Awareness of need to treat others with respect and sensitivity. As HCA, I have communicated my concerns about John’s depression to the Palliative Care Nurse and have stressed how much his personality has changed. By actively listening to John and his feelings of helplessness, I never dismiss John’s feelings but rather encourage John to complete personal tasks which he is capable of completing. John can no longer stand without the assistance of his walking frame, this makes shaving in the morning difficult and John is quite particular about his appearance. John feels better about himself when he is clean shaven and dressed for the day, ensuring that John’s dignity remains intact is extremely important. I have discussed an alternative to shaving at the bathroom sink with John. John has a desk in the house that is not being used and the HCA has made arrangements for John to have the desk in his bedroom and everything necessary for him to shave at his desk with a mirror stand. John’s feelings of inadequacy about caring for himself have been improved and he feels more independent. The HCA empowered John to make this decision and thereby improving his emotional self worth.

Effective reflection on personal interaction/communication with dying person and family. During John’s...
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