End stage COPD clinical patient

Nursing Students General Students

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Last night we had an 88 y/o patient in clincal with end stage COPD...and she still smoked. We actually debated whether it was worth going through the motions with patient teaching regarding how unhealthy smoking was given her age and status. What do you think?

If/when I get to 88 years old, I will do what the hell I want regarding my health, lol. At that point you only have MAYBE a few more years left....quitting smoking at that age most likely won't have much of an effect on her health. This is JMO, I know we're all suppose to promote health but someone should've done that about 30 years ago for her....heck if she has made it to 88 I think she has done pretty good, lol.

At 88 who cares???? Not appropriate to lecture her at this point. I'm sure throughout the years she's been educated about it plenty. Just make her comfortable.

Thanks for the replies - I think my response would've been (if the question wasn't more or less rhetorical on the instructors behalf) is that I would've had to upheld my own values to a certain degree and mention something...although at this stage, no point getting 'preachy' about it.

Probably not worth antagonizing her over. If she was relatively functional (i.e. not end-stage COPD), I would probably suggest decreasing the amount she smokes in the hopes of improving peripheral vascular circulation.

But I honestly think it's her call at that point. I don't smoke now but I may well take it up on my 80th birthday ! I love nicotine, and we can't live forever ....

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