Twenty percent of patients admitted to critical care will die despite aggressive therapy (Ott, 2010). The shift to evidence based practice in palliation has proved to be of benefit to nurses as well as patients. For example one evidence based guideline states: “the use of tube feedings in patients with advance dementia is unlikely to provide medical benefit or improve comfort” (Ott, 2010 p.74). This information can be shared with family members to aid in decision making or to enhance understanding of the dying process.
To be effective in the area of “successful” death and dying the nurse must examine her own feelings, beliefs, and experiences about the process. Not every nurse enjoys this process but every nurse needs to be effective. Care and compassion are the very essence of what nursing is; therefore, you must know and understand your own limitations.
In this module you will:
- Review the clinical practice guidelines for palliative care
- Use case studies to examine your own feelings and beliefs about end of life