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Quality of Life

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Submitted By mike0311
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The perceptions that I have about a patient’s quality of life and their care has changed dramatically over the past few years. I have had the opportunity to be a home health and hospice nurse and care for patients and families. Through this experience I have gained a new understanding of how to care for homebound and dying patients. I used to not see what a patient’s home life was like. I would stabilize patients or get them to an acceptable level of health and send them home. I knew that some of them would die soon but never really understood what went on in the home.
When I first got the home health and hospice job I felt that the patients needed the care of the nurse and that the family was there for support and to help the nurse. After doing hospice for a while I soon realized that I was not just treating the patient but their family as well. The patient’s quality of life was my main concern but health promotion among the family members was in my mind as well. I saw that if the family was well taken care of and were not burnt out on caring for the patient then everyone had a much better quality of life. By providing resources for the families I was better able to keep them in good health and therefore have them provide better and more loving care for their dying family member.
The first thing that I would try to implement with the Thomas family is to get Mrs. Thomas’ pain under control. Pain is very debilitating and it is hard for loved ones to see each other in pain. Mrs. Thomas has not been taking her pain medication for fear of becoming addicted to pain medications. As her nurse I would talk with her about the pros and cons of taking various pain medications. I would talk with her primary care physician about different pain medications available. There are many different medications available that are not so addictive and that still provide

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