I am working as a Critical care nurse.
Im still considered myself a pretty new nurse, with less than 2 years experiences. Though, working with very sick population , for example, D.C) I have become pretty acquainted with the concept of a ‘good death’; and in our definition, it is when and where the patient spends his/ her last days in the most comfortable way possible. This is the what we call Palliative care, or I call it “P-care”
This options enables the patient to maintain his/ her dignity, as opposed to have a breathing tube shoved down their throat and for us to control the symptoms enough so that he/ she can spend some quality time with the loved ones.
So with very minimal responses from all the medical management/ interventions, would you rather:
�Be in an unfamiliar environment with tube down your throats, naked under cheap hospital gown, foley in your bladder, EKG and wires all over your chest, your extremities get all puffy due to fluid overload, bedsores. On top of that you are sedated ( and paralyzed- even worst)
�Be with your family and spend last days with them. Your family is primary caregiver, with the help of Pcare team, of course to manage the symptoms.
I lost count of how many time For the past 2 years when I has asked myself this same question over and over “ why is this patient not on P-care, we have exhausted all options”. Obviously it’s alot more involved, and it’s easy said than done. However, I wish there are more teaching/ education regarding Palliative care so that patients and families are well introduced and offered this option, at right when all the interventions are exhausted and patients have very to none minimal responses.
In a very Clift note version: Palliative care offers symptom management/comfort cares, and also some degree of restorative care to improve the patient’s level of functioning. For these to happen concurrently, there somewhat has to be a good, tremendous amount of social support from both patient and families, as well as p-care team.