Dignity for the Dying Patient & Family

While in modern times technological advancement may be used by nurses as a supplement to the conventional health care practice, nursing informatics is an upcoming field that is very crucial in the provision of dignified care to the dying patient as well as to the family.

Nursing informatics: where caring and technology meet

The nursing profession has witnessed the significant impact of technological advancement, especially over the last two decades. The most significant inventions in information technology have helped transform the effectiveness of this profession. The authors have included the need for the use of recent trends in technological growth in addressing the issue of providing care to the dying. They, however, acknowledge that this new venture may not be so easy to implement but they believe it is possible. In the twenty-first century, in particular, the nursing profession has witnessed new approaches in nursing, new tools, and new technological applications. Basic concepts of computer applications have been widely used especially windows 2007 and word processors. These applications are particularly important in tracking the patients’ records and hence help in the provision of the necessary care. For a terminally ill or dying patient, the use of past records like a response to specific medical prescriptions are very crucial, and hence well-kept records that can be retrieved quite easily are necessary.

The changing trends in nursing informatics have and will continue to impact the practice of nursing as a profession in the 21st century. The new emerging roles of nurses include; research work, development of appropriate systems, nursing education, and administration. Nurses who have earned a bachelor’s or a master’s degree are mostly engaged in the identification and implementation of appropriate systems for use especially in caring for dying patients. These developments will extend to the patient’s families as well. Furthermore, nurses who have embraced the use of computer-aided patient care will employ the use of non-conventional approaches like hypnosis, acupuncture, therapeutic touch, sonic vibration, and biofeedback.

Internet resources for nurses

This book is very resourceful for nurses when it comes to the provision of care to the dying. It has a deep focus on virtually all diseases and the guidelines for professional nurses who are embracing the use of the new technologies. It provides direct and easy-to-use internet links including terminal diseases. It is common to realize that modern nurses use portable computers which can be carried around. This makes it easy for them to provide home care to dying patients and offer useful information to the family members. The websites were collected from prominent authors who are familiar with specific areas of expertise. They also provided professional briefs about the site. With this simplified access to resourceful information, nurses will contribute towards a dignified process of dying to the patient, especially at their respective homes rather than in hospitals. During this sensitive stage of dying, patients usually ask complex questions and raise a lot of concerns. Equipped with vast information, the nurse will be able to handle the patient. Similarly, the family members may have unique questions which need answers. The nurse will quote the professional information at his or her disposal.

Nursing informatics: the impact of nursing knowledge on health care informatics

This source is very useful in understanding the impact of nursing informatics knowledge on the provision of care to patients, especially the dying. The authors focus on the appropriate use of knowledge in the general care of the patient. These include: minimizing or curing the physical symptoms that occur due to treatment or diagnosis and improving the quality of life or the process of dying in the individual with a terminal illness. Other domains that the nurses are responsible for ensuring outcomes are the analysis of the patient’s response to specific intervention choices in order to identify the preferences, and also assessing the patient’s or family members’ satisfaction resulting from the nurse’s diagnostic or treatment options.

Furthermore, according to the authors, the nurses are responsible for advising the patient and the family members on their role in ensuring the well-being of the patient especially as far as the health care provider are concerned. These efforts are geared towards enhancing the patient’s mental and social well-being, particularly during the drying period. The mentioned domains of the nurse start at the first encounter with the patient at the emergency room, the admission bed, to the patient’s home, the community clinic where periodic checks up could be performed, and the subsequent days of care provision for the dying. This is common for the aging or those diagnosed with a terminal illness. The authors of this book propose that proper health care for the dying can be best achieved at the patient’s home or better still, at the nearby community health center rather than at the hospital. This situation will ensure a dignified death for the patient when the time comes.

Textbook of Family Medicine

This reference can be very resourceful in understanding nursing informatics and the care of the dying individual. The book asserts the importance of medical education and the attitude that the professionals in the field have towards caring for those who are ordinarily or terminally ill. The sole object of medicine, according to Rakel, is to sustain life and attempt to cure various diseases. In recent times, highly infectious diseases were responsible for several, deaths, especially among young people. Their death came too early in life before they could even enjoy the joys that can be experienced in life. Medical professionals, therefore, resorted to fighting these diseases using newly discovered antibiotics resulting in the cure and prevention of the diseases and hence sustaining life. Due to this triumph, the professionals focused mainly on preserving life by all means, and thus they employed the advancing technology to track patients’ records.

However, recent research findings reveal that in modern times, people are more likely to succumb to terminal or chronic diseases than to those that are curable. In chapter 8 of this book, the author talks about the need to care for the dying patient, especially the aging until such a moment when a dignified death comes. This calls for the use of modern nursing informatics to provide worthy care to the patient. The medical profession should also focus on coming up with high-quality treatment approaches rather than increasing the quantity of already existing antibiotics.

The Family Physician’s Role in Caring for the Dying Patient and Family: A Comprehensive Theoretical Model

This source has a clear simulation for nurses and other physicians to adopt in order to improve their ability to provide meaningful care to dying patients and families. It is almost universally accepted that the responsibility of caring for the dying is a quite demanding task and arouses varying emotions in the caregivers. A number of nurses find themselves held up with the duty of providing care to specified families and most of them usually feel unprepared to face the associated challenges. With the current technological advancement, some useful models have been developed for the field of nursing informatics with an aim of helping nurses understand their role as caregivers. The model is designed in such a manner that the clear role of the nurse in handling the dying patient as well as the family is well established. The individual needs of the physician in relation to other caregivers are also factored in the model for its effective implementation. The model has three clear levels to be followed in its implementation; experience of the nurse, skills and personal feelings, and the context at hand.

Due to the ever-changing technological innovation, nursing informatics has also been forced to catch up with the trend. The mentioned model, according to the authors, can be used as a basis for conducting other research with aim of improving it. Furthermore, the curricular used in nursing education, resident, as well as continuing medical education will also be influenced for the better.

References

Ball, M. J., Hannah, K. J. & Newbold, S. K. (2000). Nursing informatics: where caring and technology meet, (3rd ed.). Springer.

Fitzpatrick, J. J. & Montgomery, K. S. (2003). Internet resources for nurses (2nd ed.). Springer Publishing Company, Inc.

Gerdin, U., Tallberg, M. & Wainwright, P. (1997). Nursing informatics: the impact of nursing knowledge on health care informatics. IOS Press.

Rakel, R. E. (2007). Textbook of Family Medicine, (7th ed.). Saunders.

Steinmetz, D. & Gabel, L. L. (2002). The Family Physician’s Role in Caring for the Dying Patient and Family: A Comprehensive Theoretical Model. Family Practice. Oxford University Press, vol. 15 (4), 112-116.