Coursework Example on Palliative Care

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650 words
University of Richmond
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Course work
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What factors would account for this individuals tissue breakdown?

As people age, their tissue mass starts to deteriorate. The breakdown of tissue is a natural process that is seen as people become older. This tissue breakdown is a result of reduced tissue generation and increased rate of muscle wearing out associated with old age. The body is unable to produce enough tissue to replace the muscles that have been worn out which leads to sores, wounds, and ulcers that do not heal in the older generation (Mauk, 2014). Aunt Becks sores became extensive as days passed since the rate of tissue breakdown increased.

What are the principles of palliation and end-of-life care that should be addressed when patients are near death?

Palliative and end of life care refer to a multidisciplinary approach to a specialized medical care given to people with life-limiting conditions, for instance, the elderly or people with terminal illnesses. It focuses on offering people relief from the presenting symptoms, physical stress, pain and the mental stress of the terminal diagnosis (Mauk, 2014). The care is guided by various principles that are addressed. The consumers psychological and physical needs at the end of life are assessed and recognized. Consumers, caregivers, and families are involved at the end of life planning and decision making as seen in the case of Aunt Beck. The patients receive timely and equitable access to the appropriate and suitable end of life care within the aged care facilities. The end of life care should be holistic, integrated and delivered by adequately trained and skilled staff. The care needs of the patient with cognitive impairment and dementia are understood and met in the residential aged care facilities. The patient, families, and caregivers are treated with respect and dignity. The consumers have their cultural, psychological and spiritual needs respected and fulfilled. The families, residents, staff, and caregivers are supported in bereavement (World Health Organization, 2011).

What are the nursing responsibilities in preparing the family for death?

The nurse has numerous responsibilities in preparing the family members for the death of their loved ones when dying is recognized and is expected. Appropriate care is given to both the patient and the family members. The nursing team is scheduled to discuss and communicate with the family members as the preparation for the death of their loved one is waited. The nurse enquires from the family members if cardiopulmonary resuscitation should be attempted. The nurse also asks the family members if the implantable cardiac defibrillator needs to be deactivated. The nurse is expected to walk the family through the process involved in death and explain to them what to expect (Kubler-Ross, 2009).

Relate your feelings about this series of photographs regarding death and dying

End of life can be a sad yet a happy and relieving process. Sad since people lose their loved ones but comfortable as it eases the burden as well as the suffering (Bonanno, 2009). The series of photographs titled caring through the ages donated by photographer Gordon Baer on the palliative and end of life of Aunt Beck show empathy, suffering and the love that surrounded her during her last days. The pictures evoke mix reactions. The photographs are sad as they portray the pain that Aunt Beck is going through as even her sores worsen as well as the suffering of her family members. However, the photos after her death bring reliefs as we know that she has been liberated by death and she is not suffering.



Bonanno, G. A. (2009). The other side of sadness: What the new science of bereavement tells us about life after loss. Basic Books.

Kubler-Ross, E. (2009). On death and dying: What the dying have to teach doctors, nurses, clergy and their own families. Taylor & Francis.

Mauk, K.L (Ed.). (2014). Gerontological nursing: Competencies for care (3rd ed). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

World Health Organization. (2011). Palliative care for older people: better practices.


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