Explain how you would approach a family who wants “everything” done for a patient with only a limited time to live
The amorphous relationship between practitioners and the families of patients at the end of life presents both challenges and opportunities for which nurse practitioner’s may be unprepared. Families play important roles in the practical and emotional aspects of patient care and in decision making at the end of life. At the same time, family members may carry significant burdens as a result of their work. The discussion of death and dying is one that most people and also most healthcare professionals find very difficult to talk about. As a nurse practitioner, I would be more empathetic and be a good listener on their feelings about the situation. I will let them tell their stories, verbalized their feelings and thoughts and find the reason why they want everything done for the patient. Being a good listener and empathetic to their feelings will help them be more comfortable in discussing the prognosis of the patient. I will respect their opinions but at the same time I will explain to them thoroughly the minimal benefits that the patient could get if will do everything for him. I will be more realistic to them and show them the outcome if patient will go for an aggressive treatments. I will make a reasonable effort to clarify their doubts, questions, and communicate with them the risk and its potential benefits. Considering the patient’s advanced age and poor prognosis, I will have them a clear understanding of the patient’s prognosis and the pros and cons of doing everything for the patient like CPR. Although all patients who require CPR have severe acute illness by virtue of needing CPR, there may be differences in the type or severity of the acute illness leading to CPR that could influence outcomes. I will emphasize to them the minimal benefits that the patient gets from such procedures and at the same time I will explain to them the advantages and benefits that the patient gets from palliative care and the quality of life that he would have on his last days of his life. The final months of the patient is the most precious one and we want the patient to spend the rest of his life in a comfortable and peaceful way of living (Ehlenbach, et al, 2009).
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