Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Quality of life is the key factor

  • Comment

‘What treatment do we offer next?’ I asked the nurse specialist, as we reviewed the latest set of results for a patient. ‘Nothing… yet,’ she replied. At first this appeared quite a strange response but I soon understood why.

On my placement on a urological ward I have really learnt to consider how the interventions we offer our patients impact upon their quality of life.

Investigations are often crucial to provide answers and appropriate treatment strategies. But how often do we consider their impact on the lives of our patients and their families – and how useful they are in determining how to manage the presenting condition?

Quality of life should not only be considered in clinical areas such as cancer, but should be included in our holistic assessment of patients in every sphere of care. During this placement I have discovered that patients’ conditions do not always show a positive progression, and this has made me stop and consider what, therefore is the next step? Do we move straight onto the next treatment, if so do we consider how this may affect the patient? Will they see more of the hospital than their family and friends? Will they need a catheter and could they cope with such a change?

I believe quality of life is a crucial part of holistic assessment and should be considered with every change to patients’ health status and general circumstances and when we consider new interventions. Ongoing assessment will enable us, as reflective practitioners, to consider the significant impact our actions, treatments and interventions have on our patients and their quality of life – not only within a hospital setting but also in their daily lives.

James Squires is a second-year adult nursing student in London

Want to read more Starting Out? Just clickk on the more by this author link at the to p of the page

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.