Due: February 28, 2018
Death and Dying
Death and dying is normal process that every human being will go through, even though the process may vary from person to person. Not everyone will have the same experience and every case will be unique. Whether we acknowledge or not many people fear death, we tend to view death as an enemy and try to avoid it with technology and medicine. People die from many causes from age to terminal cancer.
There is 5 stages of grief, anybody who has experienced loss will experience these 5 stages. The first stage of grief is denial, one may not agree they have a disease and will try to obtain information from another doctor, because they feel like the doctor made a mistake. As a nursing assistant, we should never put our beliefs onto the patient. Nursing assistants need to continue with their job and watch the patient carefully, and report anything abnormal to the nurse. The second stage of grief is anger, the patient may blame themselves or others for their diagnosis. As a nursing assistant you should let the patient or resident to express his feelings. Bargaining is the third stage of grief, this is when someone tried to make a deal, so they can live and be cured from their terminal illness. Or they want to live long enough to see their child get married or graduate, etc. A nursing assistant should always be realistic with her patient. After bargaining comes depression, one may start to feel sad and regret things in life that they did not accomplish. Nursing assistants should give their patients comfort. It could simply be holding a person’s hand or touching them softly on their shoulder. Acceptance is the last stage of grief, the patient has finally accepted the fact that he is in fact going to pass away. The stages of grief may be passed in different order and some may even be skipped. (Chapter 25, page 510)
When a nursing assistant is taking care for a terminal ill person, they should be observant and report any abnormal changed to the nurse. Such as refusing food, medication, or cannot sleep.
Proving holistic care at the ending stage of someone’s life is very vital. A dying person becomes dependent on others, especially nursing assistants. It is important that the resident is always comfortable in his or hers last stage. As a nursing assistant we should provide the best care we possibly can such as providing skin care. Making sure we clean their skin clean and nice. Incontinence will become often and as a nursing assistant you should always make sure our patients are always cleaned. Positioning the patient at least every two hours is important. A dying person may not be able to position themselves to a different position. Frequent repositions avoids the patient from getting pressure ulcers, which can be very painful to them. In some situations, the patient may be in pain when moved so the nursing assistant should leave him in the position that is comfortable for him/her.
A person’s family may want to take care of their own family member as well, it is important that as a nursing assistant we teach them correctly on how to do stuff, so they will not harm their loved one. Meeting their emotional needs is just as important as meeting their physical needs. Being a good listener is an important one, many dying people are very aware of their surroundings. A nursing assistant should immediately tell the nurse if the person is having trouble breathing, asks to see a clergy member, a person has died, etc.
As a nursing assistant having a patient pass away will not be easy, as we grow close to them because we see them every day. Caring for a terminally ill person or a dying person is very difficult and it is not an easy thing to do.
Nutrition is by far one of the most important thing a patient should receive. Poor nutrition causes poor health. Vitamins, fiber and water are very important. It important to always make sure that our patients are hydrated, our body is mostly made of water and it needs water to function properly. Preparing for meal time is important so your patient can enjoy their food comfortable. This includes, using the restroom, basic hygiene, and positioning them for eating. Residents who are not able to eat by themselves should be fed by a nursing assistant. It is also important to pay attention to what your patient dislikes and likes. They may not eat as well because they simply don’t like the texture of the food. It is important to take note of these things so that in the future it can be replaced by something they do enjoy eating. Nursing assistants should also know that religious beliefs, culture, dislikes, etc play a factor on what people eat and don’t eat. When a person who can not swallow foods or liquids, an alternative way is provided so that they receive the nutrition they need. One may have an IV for fluid, or a nasogastric tube for eternal feeding. This a nurses job to provide but we must make sure that their IV is not swollen up or anything of that case, and if so we must immiedatly report to the nurse.