The video podcast “Nursing Care at End of Life” emphasizes the complexity of the nursing profession. In their practice, nurses do not only conduct medical procedures but also interact with individuals with varying needs. Probably, one of the situations when a nurse should approach a patient and their family with caution, consideration, and utmost respect, is when a patient is dying.
We will write a custom Essay on Nursing Care at the End of Life specifically for you
301 certified writers online
When assisting a dying patient in palliative or hospice care, a nurse assumes many roles. He or she assesses an individual’s physiological and psychological symptoms, transmits information to everyone involved, and acts as a mediator between family members. I am convinced that it is paramount to holistic nursing practice to fulfill all the assigned duties with regards to medical ethical principles.
After watching the video, I came to thinking that palliative or hospice nursing care should primarily correspond to the principles of autonomy, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. Even in the last months or days of their life, a patient should retain their dignity and freedom of choice as to who is allowed to visit them, how the hospital space is arranged, and so on (Podcast Library, 2015). Furthermore, a nurse should help a patient practice their autonomy in determining how they would like to fulfill their spiritual needs at the end of life.
Lastly, the principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence correspond to a nurse’s duty to relieve and prevent pain respectively. As a patient approaches the end of life, their bodily functions decline, and certain discomfort is unavoidable. However, together with a team of medical practitioners, a nurse may elaborate a treatment plan that would assuage painful sensations. Moreover, in the case of a terminal illness, modern medical advancements allow to act on the principle of nonmaleficence and help a patient avoid unnecessary suffering.
Dying is a natural process which, unfortunately, often involves much pain and psychological distress in a patient as well as in the members of his or her family. Nevertheless, it is possible to respond to acute health issues through an adequate assessment of the symptoms and appropriate treatment. Ongoing support from a nurse as well as from friends and family members may also make a significant difference for a dying patient and improve their quality of life.
Podcast Library. (2015). Nursing care at end of life [Video file]. Web.