Near the end of one’s life usually, they are taken care of by a nurse because they themselves are not able to care for themselves. This type of nursing is called end-of-life care nursing and there are many different jobs that these nurses have to do with ultimate care due to the dangers it comes with. One small mistake can have massive consequences because of how fragile the human body becomes with age. End-of-life care nursing includes pain and symptoms management, culturally sensitive practices, and assisting families through the death and dying process.
What many may not know about this field of nursing is that there are necessary humane and ethical decisions. Often times there are instances of unnecessary suffering include in these patients who are reaching the end of their time in this world. Thus the nurse may make the decision to transfer these patients over to palliative care. Palliative care is a program where the death time of patients is neither increased nor decreased, instead, the main objective is to lower the amount of “suffering” they have to go through. The nurse is required to make sure that they provide relief from pain and other symptoms that may distress the patient. Basically, nurses try their best to give the patients a less painful path to their eventual death.
Of course, some problems arise because of the huge weight that is put on these end-of-life care nurses. Usually the biggest worry and fear is the fear of potential liability when it comes to the nurses’ decisions on whether to send patients to palliative care or not. This is mainly due to the fact that when patients are transferred over to palliative care, some things may be removed from their care, this list includes dialysis and feeding tubes. Also, another risk that comes with this is that patients in palliative care may need higher doses of opium in their systems, and the wrong amount of dose could cause massive problems or even prove to be fatal in some situations. Drug use is pretty often in palliative care because it can briefly end the patient’s suffering, this is called terminal sedation, sometimes these drugs can make people unconscious to pause their suffering
Nurses are required to know what is best for the patients, and end-of-life care nursing is not any different. However nurses must be cautious when it comes to making ethical decisions in end-of-life nursing because it may lead to a patient’s typical “peaceful” death, or it could lead to a quicker, and more painful downfall.