Psychosocial Care

Psychosocial Care 150 150 Tony Guo

Psychosocial Care

  • Anxiety and depression
    • Encouragement, support, and teaching decrease some of the anxiety and depression.
    • Management of anxiety and depression may include both medications and non-pharmacologic interventions such as relaxation strategies such as relaxation breathing, muscle relaxation, music, and imagery may be useful
  • Hopelessness and powerlessness
    • Encourage realistic hope within the limits of the situation.
    • Allow the patient and family to deal with what is within their control, and help them to recognize what is beyond their control.
  • Fear of dyspnea
    • Sensation of air hunger results in anxiety for patient and family
    • Therapies depend on the cause and may include
      • Opioids
      • Bronchodilators
      • Oxygen
  • Fear of pain
    • Assure the patient and family that drugs will be given promptly when needed and that side effects of drugs can and will be managed
    • Reassessment of pain after medications are given is an important nursing action
  • Fear of loneliness and abandonment
    • Most terminally ill and dying people fear loneliness and do not want to be alone, therefore, are worried that their family member’s would not be able to cope with their imminent death and abandon them
  • Communication
    • Communication is essential
    • Use empathy and active listening
      • Allow patients and families time to express their feelings and thoughts
      • Accept silence
    • Prepare family for unusual patient communication
  • Postmortem Care
    • After death is pronounced, the nurse prepares or delegates preparation of the body for immediate viewing by the family
      • Close patient’s eyes
      • Replace dentures
      • Wash and position body
    • Allow family privacy and as much time as they need with deceased person
    • Maintain respect for patient and family

Special Needs of Nurses

  • Caring for dying patients is challenging and rewarding while at the same time intense and emotionally charged
  • Recognize your values, attitudes and feelings about death
  • Be aware of what you can and cannot control.
  • Recognizing personal feelings allows openness in exchanging feelings with the patient and family.
  • Realizing that it is okay to cry with the patient or family during the end of life may be important for your well-being.

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