A Call for Hospice Reform: Nurse Practitioners Lead the Way | GeriPal - A Geriatrics and Palliative Care Blog
My great grandmother passed after a short battle with pneumonia recently and spent the last two days of her life in Hospice. I am so grateful for their care of her after struggling in the hospital for 5 long tortuous hours crying in pain and shortness of breath. She begged for help and my sister had to drag the doctor into the room and threaten to put a pillow over her head in order to alleviate her suffering. Why do we let patients go through this when the transition can be so much more comfortable? I am glad that I didn't have to watch that process. I may have lost my professional composure.
I don't understand why we still allow patients to suffer in their final moments. It should be a joyous transition at least for most. I am sure that for some it is a scary place not knowing what is on the other side. I think that we wait way too long into the process to start the journey and it turns into chaos and terror. Hospice care should be individualized and we should treat the disease process symptoms in order to make the process as comfortable as possible. Give diuretics in congestive heart failure and oxygen support for shortness of breath etc. not just morphine and ativan to dull the patient down into death. We don't need to hasten the process. We need to find ways to make it an easier transition.
Please read this article on utilizing nurse practitioners in hospice care.
May you rest in peace Grandma Leona!