Quality of life has a different meaning for everyone. Many personal thoughts and feelings can come into play when caring for others during the end stages of life. However as a nurse and caregiver, these opinions must be put aside at this significant time. For some health care providers, we may feel that keeping the patient comfortable and having them surrounded by family is most important. However, for the patient, personal culture, lifestyle and value for one self as well as a sense of independence in handling this time alone is most imperative. Therefor a nurse must consider the individual's past experiences, present lifestyle and personal hopes in which they choose to live in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns at this stage. One must meet not only the physical needs of the patient but the psychosocial demands in this sensitive time of need. Seeking aggressive medical treatment vs. palliative care is something that is very personal and differs from individual to individual. Nurses’ opinions and suggestions of the “best care” should not be voiced to the patient or family, even if asked directly. For Mrs. Thomas, time also plays an important role. She is young and may have many other worries than those of an older age experience in preparing for end of life. A nurse must consider what areas of life are important to her and what is the relative importance of each of these areas. Personal perception that counting on family support is huge, but may not be possible in Mrs. Thomas’ situation as her children live out of town. STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE
The nurse should look at several strategies that directly impact the patient as well as the family. Quality of life not only looks at the health status the patient but those directly involved in the care of the patient. This encompasses a broader set of planning including finances, housing, and...
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