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STUDENT BLOG

'How can we ensure patients get the end-of-life care they want?'

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Death is a part of life. However I have found people shy away from it. Indeed they seem to actively ignore and try not to think about it.

As nurses we need to know what peoples’ wishes are when they reach the end of their lives. We need to have the courage at the appropriate time to ask people about their wishes. We need to make sure that others know what an individual’s choices are.

“Ask people who are reaching the end of their lives how they want to die.”

Ask people who are reaching the end of their lives how they want to die. Tell them it’s okay to talk about and to tell people what they really want in order to make their death as dignified and as close to their wishes as possible. I know we make care person-centred but we also need to make death person-centred.

“I know we make care person-centred but we also need to make death person-centred.”

Advance care plans are so important to those reaching the end of their lives as it communicates their wishes if they are unable to communicate these for themselves. This is not being done enough and people are not having the deaths that they want. But also, they may not be having the funeral they would ideally want either.

“It is important that nurses have the courage and the compassion to have these talks with service users so that they get the death that they want.”

So it is important that nurses have the courage and the compassion to have these talks with service users so that they get the death that they want. Further, doing so can help not to put all of the responsibility on families to make those difficult decisions.

Esther Moreland is a current student nurse

 

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