COMMUNITY HEALTH Community Health Nursing Word Count: 1,500 A. Explain how your own perceptions about quality of life and health promotion might affect your care for a dying patient with a lingering illness such as cancer. Quality of life can vary greatly when there is a problem that a patient is dealing with such as cancer…
Quality of life really depends upon not only what the family can do, but about what the community health nurse can impart to her patient. In the case of Mrs. Thomas, making her comfortable is going to be the nurse’s primary concern. It seems that Mrs. Thomas is on a regime that includes Vicodin, but she doesn’t seem approving of using medication for pain management. However, it is okay for the nurse to reassure Mrs. Thomas that this will help her make a smooth transition in the process in which she is going through. She is in a lot of pain, and managing the pain will definitely take a lot of pressure off of Mr. Thomas knowing that his wife feels better. Unfortunately, many times pain is undertreated by physicians in the U.S. Since Mrs. Thomas is a cancer patient, it only makes sense that she is going to feel badly with the metastasis of the cancer to her lung—and indeed, it probably is as painful as she has described to the nurse. However, not treating the pain is going to leave Mrs. Thomas without other recourse, and in the process, Mr. Thomas may become severely affected, seeing his wife in pain and feeling powerless to do much about it. Therefore, the best decision seems to be to treat the pain. This is going to be the greatest help for Mrs. Thomas as she now goes through the dying process. B. Discuss three strategies that you could use in the Thomas’s situation to improve the quality of life for Mrs. Thomas and her husband during this illness. ?? Community health nurses definitely can have a positive impact on being able to improve the quality of life for terminally ill patients such as Mrs. Thomas. According to Larsen and Lubkin (2009), “By evaluating the extent to which nursing interventions improve quality of life for clients and families, nurses are in a position to [help their clients with this]” (pp. 156). Of course, many times people may argue about what does quality of life mean. According to Sinclair (2007), “Referring to quality of life…’its definition is notoriously problematic.’ The tendency toward superficiality in measurement of quality of life in palliative care has been [criticized]” (pp. 62). Three strategies that could be used in order to improve Mrs. Thomas’s quality of life would include the following: have her listen to music; make sure she has good hygiene and grooming; and making sure Mrs. Thomas has some visitors so she can get some social interaction, perhaps with her family members who live out-of-state. Music can be a quite calming factor, especially when one is not feeling well. Something light and airy, or classical music, might be especially soothing. In addition, Mrs. Thomas should be very well-groomed and be helped to maintain good personal hygiene so that she doesn’t get any kind of infection. Third, perhaps visits from her family members from out-of-state might be a nice touch, if the nurse could get in contact with them and see if they’d like to visit her. Or, alternatively, the nurse might like to arrange a visit or two from a minister of Mrs. Thomas’s faith or a volunteer who cares for hospice patients. Volunteers who work in hospice might best serve Mrs. Thomas if at least one person came to see her on a regular basis so she could maintain some social contact with others outside her husband. C. Create a holistic nursing action plan appropriate for managing Mrs. Thomas’s care at home by doing the following: ? 1. Discuss ways to optimize Mrs. Thomas’ ...
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