found at nursing 2006:
volume 36 number 11
pages 58 - 63
managing symptoms for a "good death"
marylou kouch aprn, bc, msn
contact hours: 2.5* expires: 11/30/2008
what's a good death? most patients facing the end of life say it means freedom from pain and other distressing symptoms. 1
as nurses, we can play a major role in easing their way to a good death.
managing symptoms in the last phase of life is especially challenging because you probably won't have the benefit of diagnostic studies to help you assess signs and symptoms. but as a nurse, you bring unique qualities to the table: assessment skills, a partnership with the patient and her family, and the determination to bring comfort.
in this article, i'll present a case study to illustrate the most common end-of-life symptoms, including pain, fatigue, dyspnea, and gastrointestinal problems. whether your patient has all of these symptoms or only a few, you'll learn how to keep her as comfortable as possible.