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Caring for end of life patients

Nurses   (430 Views 9 Comments)
by Tboland88 Tboland88 (Member)

Tboland88 has 1 years experience .

508 Visitors; 22 Posts

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I dont know about anyone else, but caring for end of life patients upsets me. I feel like i never know what to say to the family/patients. I dont feel like nursing school properly prepared me for caring for terminally ill/end of life patients.

What does everyone else think?

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MunoRN has 10 years experience and works as a Critical Care.

37 Likes; 63,195 Visitors; 5,926 Posts

It's common to feel like nursing school didn't adequately prepare graduates for emotionally challenging situations, but I'm not sure that's really the role of nursing school. Developing more effective coping with end-of-life care isn't about insufficient knowledge, it's a personal growth issue, so what is it that nursing school isn't doing to ensure this personal growth that they should be?

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DextersDisciple has 5 years experience.

27 Likes; 3,311 Visitors; 204 Posts

It's just something you will adjust to over time. If you still find caring for actively dying patients very difficult even with a lot of experience then you may just do better in a specialty without as much end of life care. For example, working an orthopedic floor.

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2 Likes; 3,163 Visitors; 380 Posts

I've always found it sad but rewarding. There definitely isn't a one size fits all response which you can say to a family, but I find little things- making sure the family and patient are comfortable, explaining what to expect, and compassion work well in almost every situation I've been in

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience and works as a case manager.

263 Likes; 4 Followers; 68,501 Visitors; 6,203 Posts

Nursing school doesn't really prepare us for anything. This job is learn as you go.

Providing hospice care is as tough as it gets. You don't have to say anything. Just being there and making sure your patient is comfortable.. is all you need to do.

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K+MgSO4 has 10 years experience and works as a nurse unit manager.

14 Likes; 1 Follower; 21,300 Visitors; 1,490 Posts

It's just something you will adjust to over time. If you still find caring for actively dying patients very difficult even with a lot of experience then you may just do better in a specialty without as much end of life care. For example, working an orthopedic floor.

Make sure then you don't care for acute geriatric orthopaedic patients. Literature shows approx 25-33% die within 12 months, therefore a degree of them will die in hospital usually from delirium ( it has been a sad week on my ward)

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Tboland88 has 1 years experience.

508 Visitors; 22 Posts

thank you! its something I am going to have to get confident in doing.

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Tboland88 has 1 years experience.

508 Visitors; 22 Posts

thank you. I'm sure I will feel more comfortable over time.

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1,880 Visitors; 86 Posts

sadly everyone dies. especially the sick and elderly of a nursing home. I know how you feel there was this one resident of mine who got pneumonia and aspirated. I sat him up and everything. He was just fine when i was doing rounds on him, but next thing i know they are carrying him off to the hospital. he was DNR so i there was nothing else anyone could really do for him. I just keep looking in his room sometimes feeling like im missing something

anyway i hope he rest in peace along with anyone else who has died in long term care

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