Palliative care was a challenging topic for me. Like many others I was faced with the fear of how I might react and respond to a person who is at their end of life. Death has always been an area of nursing that I was unsure of, part of it was a lack of knowledge that I had surrounding death and how to care for a patient when death is occurring or has occurred. Communicating with patients and families in regards to death such as grief, suffering, loss, and bereavement was another area I was unsure of. This class has helped me to identify my strengths and weaknesses as a nurse regarding both death and communication during the most difficult times of patients and families lives.
Death has always scared me a little as a nurse and as a person.…show more content… Peri-death nursing care is a delicate and important responsibility of nurses and deals with the final moments of life and what happens for the patient and family after death has occurred. As a nurse I must be aware of a patient and their families feelings both physically and emotional when the patient is nearing death (Matzo and Sherman, 2015, p. 649). Many patients cannot speak for themselves and may not be able to make decisions for themselves; this is something I have learned must be addressed early on with the families. Other issues I have learned that are important to address during the peri-death nursing care process such as what the families religious beliefs are, discuss autopsies, organ transplants, and available resources for funeral services, and family bereavement. I did not realize the amount of responsibilities that the palliative care and hospice nurse has. This class had helped ease my anxiety of death and the process that occurs as death nears. I even experienced this first hand as I had a patient pass away earlier in the…show more content… I was not sure how I would react when families are grieving and hysterical. It was a very real fear because I know that I am very sympathetic to children and families in mourning. One area I felt my communication may become impaired, was in the death of a child or young adult. I know that seems weird to say, but I always linked death to old age, and it hit me very early on in this class that children die too. I worried that this may be the area that I might struggle with because my heart would hurt for the family and child. I know that this is a part of nursing that would also be inevitable. I mean illness does not discriminate against age or gender. It just made me realize that this was something I may have to prepare myself for. I have learned that as a nurse good communication and advocating for patients is key to end of life care for patients and families. I also have learned that communication is probably the most important job of a nurse. We communicate to prepare, comfort, advocate, teach, and help our patients and their families during vulnerable times in their