Nursing Conversations About Death Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Nursing Type: Essay Paper: #19068349 Related Topics: Grieving Process, Nurse Practitioner, Hospice Care, Palliative Care
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Life Care

Difficult Situations as a Nurse Practitioner

The scenario for the nurse practitioner centers on Angela Smith and her family. Angela is a 55-year-old who suffered a stroke and admitted after neighbors noticed some really odd behaviors. The situation was further complicated when Angela suffered a respiratory arrest and required mechanical ventilation and after a second CT scan the team found that she bleed into the ventricles and brainstem which may have caused irreversible brain damage. Her condition is quite serious and there must be a decision made about how to proceed with the care for Angela. It is likely that she will need long-term ventilation and PEG and the neurological team suspects that the brain damage is irreversible.

The most difficult aspect to this scenario is that there is no advanced directive and the family is being indefensibly optimistic regarding the potential for recovery. In fact, the patient's family, her two daughters, have stated that they believe that God will provide a miracle cure and that their mother would somehow beat the odds with divine intervention. While it may be good to have a sense of optimism through a difficult period, it is also necessary to temper these impulses with objectivity. Furthermore, as a nurse practitioner, it is critical to provide the family with an objective interpretation of the patient's situation and have a conversation about the best way for the family to proceed under such trying circumstances. This analysis will identify some of the themes that a nurse practitioner will want to address in their conversations with the family and try to guide them towards a consensus about treatment goals and their options.

End of Life Care

This case deals with one of the most important aspects to nursing. End-of-pain for the patient.

Advanced directives are a set of requests that the patient has made beforehand in the event that they cannot speak for themselves. Nurses can use advanced directives to guide the treatment plan for the patient based on their plan that they have previously created before they lost the mental capacity to do so. Having set of advanced directives is the ideal means of deciding treatment options in such situations. Without advanced directives, it can complicate the situations because of the emotional factors that nurses must consider but also there are many legal considerations to be made.

Once the diagnosis of the terminal condition is made, the family can create a palliative and end-of-life plan that can guide the treatment plan that the team will use during the patient's last phase of life. Patients who are terminal should have the ability to die with dignity during the final stage of their life and sometimes families can strip their loved one's of this right based on emotional factors. The palliative care plan is a compressive plan that may include spiritual care, social workers, hospice care, and many other parties to…

Sources Used in Documents:


Burchum, J. (2002). Cultural Competence: An Evolutionary Perspective. Nursing Forum, 5-15.

Campinha-Bacote, J. (2002). The Process of Cultural Competence in the Delivery of Healthcare Services: A Model of Care. Journal of Transactional Nursing, 181-184.

Tervalon, M., & Murray-Garcia, J. (1998). Cultural Humility vs. Cultural Competence: A Critical Distinction in Defining Physician Training Outcomes in Multicultural Education. Journal for Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 117-125.

Cite this Document:

"Nursing Conversations About Death" (2016, February 06) Retrieved January 27, 2022, from

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"Nursing Conversations About Death", 06 February 2016, Accessed.27 January. 2022,

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