Ann and Michael have been married for 55 years. Ann is 80 years-old, and suffers from lung cancer and advanced Alzheimer’s disease. She currently resides in a nursing home, and often does not recognize Michael when he visits. Last night she was admitted to the hospital with difficulty breathing. Today, you are the nurse caring for Ann, and her physician is suggesting surgery to remove part of her lung to potentially slow the progression of her cancer. Michael is feeling unsure about this course of treatment, and asks for your advice and guidance.
How would you respond to Michael and serve as advocate for your patient?
Share with your classmates a time when you cared for a patient at the end of their life. This may be a time when you assisted the patient (or their support system) with decisions related to end of life care; or a time when you were present for the death of a patient.
What were your observations related to this experience? Do you believe it was a peaceful death? What went well? Can you think of anything that could have made the experience better for the patient and/or family?