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ROLES OF NURSES IN MEDICAL CARE. history assignment help book: history assignment help book
Nurses play various essential roles in the medical care setting. They act as links between other medical professionals and the patients as they are the first point of contact. The main priority is the patient’s safety and wellbeing. They act as advocates to sick persons ensuring they receive the best available care and treatment. They also maintain the ill person’s dignity and often suggest treatment plans while coordinating such efforts with other medical professionals. Additionally, they take part in educating the masses on the prevention and management of medical conditions. They hand out information that can help sick persons to have control over their health. Since they are part of the patient’s journey within the medical facility context, they are widely affected by end-of-life issues.
Some patients have terminal conditions that ultimately signal the end of their lives. Since the only treatment available aims to reduce pain and make the patient comfortable, they must make decisions on the way forward, which often occurs under the guidance of a nurse. The nurse relies on information between all involved parties providing a safe environment where the sick person’s needs are put first. A team approach to decision making helps to put everyone’s worries at bay. They must always act with respect to the patient’s decision above all else. It helps to create a relationship encouraging them by asking open-ended questions so that the sick persons can share their feelings. It will help to elevate the nurse’s role in providing quality care. Additionally, they may face challenges when the management of symptoms (Pirschel, 2016). An example is with the medication for pain relief because a high opioid medication can cause constipation on an already troubled patient.
There have been multiple advances in technology over the years, which has changed the perspective on end of life (EOL). It is now possible to extend life. Such advancements have empowered patients and their loved ones to choose the mode of treatment during EOL. One of the ethical issues that may occur during this period is broken communication. According to American Nurses Association (2016) when a patient cannot speak for themselves, it is always challenging to determine whether their families or social groups have the patient’s best interests at heart. As a nurse, it is vital that they ask for the patient’s wishes early to acquire accurate information. It is also standard, acceptable, and recommended that the nurse calls for regular family and friends’ meetings to ensure that everyone is at par with the patient’s decision on EOL.
Adhering to the sick person’s autonomy is another vital feature. The patient self-determination Act (PSDA) seeks to increase healthcare providers’ ability to communicate with patients. For instance, a patient may request a do not resuscitate order (DNR). It is a legally binding contract, and while the nurse and other medical professionals may find it challenging to adhere to such a directive, they must respect their patient’s choice. Healthcare personnel are trained and have taken vows to treat and advocate for their patients’ lives, and their actions are often guided by their personality, experiences, values, and moral principles. Although disconcerting, nurses must accept that allowing natural death (AND) is at times the best course of action. Unlike a DNR that requires a legal justification, an AND allows the patient the necessary comfort without interfering with nature’s course. Spiritual skills and psychological are essential components when dealing with EOL.
EOL is a sacred period, and nurses have the privilege of being present. Issues such as broken communications and the inability to manage symptoms have links to healthcare ethics. The nurse should ensure that the patient understands their diagnosis and the measures that they can take. It helps to create a comforting environment for terminally ill persons.
American Nurses Association. (2016). Nurses’ roles and responsibilities in providing care and support at the end of life. https://www.nursingworld.org/~4af078/globalassets/docs/ana/ethics/endoflife-positionstatement.pdf.
Karnik, S., Kanekar, A. (2016). Ethical issues surrounding end-of-life care: A narrative review. Healthcare (Basel), 4(2): 24. DOI: 10.3390/healthcare4020024.
Pirschel, C. (2016). Ethical dilemmas at the end of life.