19 hours ago Introduction Nurses play a key role in end of life care. The quality of nursing care in hospice has changed over the years due to nurses advocating to change practices. Today, hospice care focuses on comfort instead of the cure. The nurse’s responsibility is to protect the patient from … >> Go To The Portal
The nurses must be attuned to many symptoms surrounding the hospice diagnosis and the co-morbidities, specific treatments, along with supporting and educating the family system. Following are two case scenarios which represent the challenging aspects of hospice care. An 87 year old male resides in his home.
The nurses must be attuned to many symptoms surrounding the hospice diagnosis and the co-morbidities, specific treatments, along with supporting and educating the family system. Following are two case scenarios which represent the challenging aspects of hospice care.
Healthcare professionals can feel uncomfortable discussing hospice care and the needs of the patient at end of life. Studies have shown that those physicians who discuss hospice alternatives with their patients have a higher referral rate to hospice care 1.
First case scenario includes many challenges which include pain control, daily alcohol consumption, and family support. Since the spouse is the primary care giver, the team needs to gain confidence and trust in the delivery of medications.
Hospice at the end of life is focused on the whole person and their needs for symptom management, their psychosocial needs as relates to their significant others, and their spiritual care at the end of life. In these three case stories by a Faith Community Nurse, we see how hospice can be about much more than simply physical comfort at the end of life. A hospice team composed of nurses, aids, social workers, administration, chaplains and more, can play a part in helping the patient and family to the point of death and beyond.
Since hospice services are included in Medicare, it is difficult to understand why there would be any resistance. Nursing homes often do a great job taking care of patients in rehab and those who are under long term care but most could benefit from expanding their care to include hospice expertise as the end of life approaches. (The Gerontologist, Vol 46, Number 3, p325-333)