Understanding Holistic End of Life Care
Write a reflective essay about how to provide the best holistic end of life care to a patient while managing my own personal values and beliefs and how that will effect my patient.
Palliative care can be defined as the multidisciplinary approach that is adopted by a specialized medical as well as nursing care team to provide best care to patients who are suffering from life limiting illness. This type of care mainly provides more importance to undertaking of care plans that helps patients to get relief from different types of symptoms like pain, mental stress and physical stress of any terminal diagnosis (Weiner et al., 2015). This type of care mainly helps in affirming life and regards dying as normal procedure of life. This type of care signifies the importance of quality of life of the patient making the patient more comfortable in his condition without taking any interventions that will hasten or postpone the death of the individual patients (Davis et al., 2015). This assignment will mainly be a reflective piece that will describe the best approach for caring of such patients. It will also show how my reflection on personal beliefs will help in developing myself as an effective care provider who is not only culturally competent but also provide effective proper holistic care for the patient.
A number of aspects should be incorporated in the care plan for the terminally ill patients. The best approach of holistic care for such patients would primarily focus on the open and sensitive communication about the person’s prognosis and illness trajectory. This open discussion should incorporate discussions about all the changes that the patients and their family members have to make in their lives. This communication should be empathetic and compassionate and effective communication would help the service providers to not feel depressed or broken down due to limitation of certain activities. The better the communication skills of the nursing professionals, the client and family members would be able to better cope with the sacrifices of their pleasures and activities (Pratt & Wood, 2015). The second aspect of the care plan should be proper development of advanced care plans that would include proper discussion of the range of treatments that are available and setting of different goals. The third important attribute for developing the best holistic approach to end of life care of patients is the adopting a psychosocial and spiritual support. This would help the individuals as well s their families to struggles with any issues related to illness like management of grief, depression, fear and many others. The fourth important aspect would be effective pain management s well as symptom management. Many researchers are of the opinion that psychosocial and spiritual needs of the clients are very necessary to be met in this form of care as other forms of care are less concerned in interacting with the patients regarding the truth of dying and making patients well adapted to the feeling and consequences of being affected by life terminating illness. The best approach should be such where the healthcare professionals engage in psychological, social and spiritual care of the patients (Kelly & Morrison, 2015). By this approach, they would be able to handle successfully the spiritual distress that patients with such illness face during their end days of their lives. Spiritual distress is mainly related with the dying person; life story, their emotional connections associated with other people, place and events in their lives which they can experience no more (Zimmerman, 2016). Helping them to overcome their feeling of isolation, disconnectedness, demoralizing behavior, sense of hopelessness and others from their struggling with life through effective therapies, counseling, discussions and interactions would help them in overcoming poor quality life and develop high quality life. The healthcare professionals would adopt a holistic care approach that would help in addressing all the important domains like medical, nursing, social, psychological, cultural and spiritual aspects of the patients.
Attributes of the Best Approach to End of Life Care
After going through a number of articles about the importance of personal beliefs and values of nurses in palliative care, I have been able to develop huge amount of knowledge about how to restrict their own beliefs and values in overpowering the compassionate care for the patient. One of my most disadvantageous attribute is that I often tend to become culturally biased. This might affect my service delivery as this can affect my attitudes and behaviors while caring for people in palliative care who are from diverse backgrounds (Kavalieratos et al., 2016). Therefore, I have decided to be very careful about my cultural competence skills and develop my cultural awareness. It is very important for nursing professionals to develop an environment of cultural safety that is respectful of culture and belief of the individuals whom I am providing care. It is extremely important for such individuals that I provide importance to their religions, spiritual beliefs and other rituals so that they can be happy and satisfied. Such patients at their end of life can suffer from a number of emotions like anxiety, loneliness, depression and anger (Fox et al., 2016). Therefore, I believe that I need to develop proper values and beliefs that help me to handle such patients effectively. My values would comprise of a caring attitude that would involve sensitivity, empathy and compassion that would demonstrate concerns for the individuals. I should also develop the value by which I will be concerned about all the aspects of the patient’s suffering and not only medical, nursing, social or other work problems. I should develop a non-judgmental approach. Non-judgmental approach would mainly follow a method where the personality, intellect, ethnic origin, religious belief or any other individual factors do not prejudice the delivery of optimal care of the patients. Moreover another important value that I already possess and which would further help me in providing the best care to these patients is my individual curiosity. Researchers are of the opinion that practice of palliative care by categorization of the patients by their underlying disorders depending upon the similarity of the medical conditions encountered is not appropriate (VanderSteen et al., 2014). This approach fails to recognize the psychosocial features as well as the problems that make every patient a unique individual. I already hold the belief that every individual is different and they require different aids and support although they may be affected with same disorder. I also understand that this unique characteristic has the capacity to influence the suffering as well as needs of the patient largely during the time of planning the palliative care for the individual patients. Another belief that I also possess and is essential for better quality care of the patient is taking consent of the patient. Taking consent and making the patient an active participant in shared decision-making maintain the dignity of the patient and make them happy, as they feel respected in their dependent life (Oliver et al., 2016). However, I need to work on my cultural competence values as I have come to know that different ethical, racial, religious and other natural factors have profound effect on the suffering of the patient. Therefore, I need to develop values by which I can respect the cultural differences and plan the treatment in a culturally sensitive manner. Apart from all these, I should also put importance to effective communication. Many researchers are of the opinion that effective communication has the capability to overcome strenuous situations faced by the patients psychologically and spiritually and therefore, I should also engage myself in interacts with them with proper communication skills.
The Importance of Personal Beliefs and Values in Palliative Care
Therefore, from the entire discussion, above, it becomes clear that palliative care is a form of care that is quite different from acute or chronic care as it does not hasten or postpone death. It mainly helps patients to love netter quality lives in the end days of their life. The best form of care should involve aspects of all the important domains like medical, nursing, social, psychological, cultural and spiritual aspects of the patients to relieve them from suffering. Effective communication, cultural consideration, consent, caring attitude and consideration of individuality should be maintained by me to provide the best quality care.
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Zimmermann, C., Swami, N., Krzyzanowska, M., Leighl, N., Rydall, A., Rodin, G., ... & Hannon, B. (2016). Perceptions of palliative care among patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers. Canadian Medical Association Journal, cmaj-151171.
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