In the United States, many of the people who die receive palliative care in acute care settings. The overall aim of acute hospitals is to diagnose, treat and discharge the cured patient. This article aims to focus on the symptomatic issues that affect people’s care at their lives end and highlights the issues faced by the nurses in delivering this care.
The active total care of patients is required when the disease reaches beyond the scope of curative treatment. It deals with pain control, other symptoms, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems. Palliative care aims to achieve the best quality of life for patients and their families; palliative care neither hastens nor postpones death and considers dying as a normal process of life. It helps relieve the pain, the symptoms associated with the pain; offers a support mechanism to help patients live as keenly as possible. It helps the patient and family to cope up with the patient’s illness and tries to lessen the family bereavement.
Palliative care tries to cope with the physical, spiritual, psychological, or emotional care of the patient and their families from the start of the terminal illness until the individual’s death. Nurses are the prime leader in palliative care programs in different circumstances of acute care settings. They are constantly assuming the primary care role through advanced practices. Many patients with chronic illnesses are now choosing palliative care programs, and the role of nurses is appreciated.
Patients who are admitted to the acute care settings for end-of-life care are not suffering from any pain. Still, if the patient is suffering from any illness that incites pain, then it is necessary to relieve that pain in palliative care. Palliative care tries to manage the varied symptoms that depend on the condition and the kind of treatment the patient is taking. It is the role of doctors and nurses to make the patient feel as comfortable as possible. The questions related to pain include the location of the pain, when the pain has started, and the influence that it is having on the patient, for example, disturbance in sleep pattern. These three criteria must be considered thoroughly.
Pain may not be the most prevalent symptom during the final days of life care, but it is certainly the most distressing. Inadequate pain control on the part of the nurse or medical team can affect family and friends’ emotional well-being at the bedside. The hamper in the pain-relieving process is quite essential in diagnosis because the wrong diagnosis of pain, such as the location of the pain, can cause the nurse to treat the patients adversely, and it is time-consuming for the patient with end-of-life care because he already has a limited time of survival.
In a large survey of surviving family members, more than 25% reported that their loved ones received inadequate pain relief in these settings. The health care system’s recommendation in the end-of-life care setting is to hire professionals skilled in handling the issue of dying because they understand the special needs. The skills include the assessment of pain in the patients who might not be able to verbally describe their pain, the awareness of pain syndrome common at the end of life, and familiarity with the pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of pain in the dying. The role of suffering and existential distress must be considered to manage the intractable symptoms of pain.
Patient and family wish to be supported
The task of the nurses in palliative care, apart from the relief of pain management, is to ensure that the patient’s and family’s wishes are supported. Even in pain management, if the patient’s treatment is not the desired treatment by the family, then there is a role of persuasion and rehabilitation for both patient and family. To ease the burden of death, it is important to adhere to the patient and family’s wishes and desires.
Information and Support provided to patients and family
The family plays a major role in catering to the care and needs of patients. They should be provided with support and guidance to ensure the care that they as a relative and member of the family can give to the patient. The nurse in charge of palliative care can enhance family support with good communications. The care by the family should be enhanced while keeping in view the social and cultural differences and genetic and psychosocial makeup of the family. The communication between healthcare staff and family should be dealt with in such a way that the best interests of the patient are endorsed. The information must be provided for the family and the patient to make the decision. If the long-suffering person does not have the emotional capacity to make a decision, then the responsibility must lie on the family’s shoulders.
The family members should be given an opportunity to get involved with the aspects of care, and the involvement of the family members must be by the wish of the patient. Family members are encouraged by the nurse and medical staff to inquire about the person’s treatment procedure. They are requested to voice their worries or concerns regarding the health of a patient. It is advisable to arrange family meetings in acute care settings. The prediction regarding the patient’s medical condition needs to be voiced by the relative and family members. What kind of support the family can provide to the patient must be recorded by the nurse so that she can better assume the role of the caretaker and the medical attendee.
It is to be concluded that the end-of-life care at acute care setting hospitals in the U.S. can provide the necessary resources and care treatments to give the patient an easeful life before and during death.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.