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A Peer Response(participation) must be substantive by bringing information to the discussion or further enhance the discussion. Each Peer Response must have a minimum of ONE reference with citations (the best is a peer-reviewed article). Word count is greater than 75 words or at least 5 sentences in length.
Discussion question/Participation #1
Death is a reality of life that all people have to deal with. Nurses however deal with death more often than other individuals. At the workplace I engage with or witness death very frequently, at least twice every week. These frequent experiences have shaped my view of death. In the beginning I would be affected by the death of a patient and be completely unable to cope. I would feel as though I was responsible for the death of that patient for failing to do enough to save their lives. It would also be difficult to address their relatives and friends regarding the patient. However, over the course of time, I have learnt that death of a patient is not an indication of failure (LOWEY, 2019), but the end of patient care. I have also learnt to remember that death happens, not because I am reckless as a nurse. It happens even to the most compassionate nurses when the life of a patient comes to an end. Moreover, I have learnt that because death and loss are a prevalent experience in the healthcare profession and therefore it is good to talk to one’s colleagues about the experience so as to process one’s emotions and get over the experience (Cross, 2016).
Discussion question/Participation #2
Re: Topic 4 DQ 1
Death is painful and is universal. I began working as an LPN in Long Term/Acute Care Nursing Homes at a very early age. I would care for residents who were transferred to hospice until they died. It was difficult for me at first because you become attached to them. You see them every day, and they quickly become like family to you. It affected everyone emotionally at first, and because and younger professionals are the most affected (Meilaender, 2013). After witnessing so many deaths, I needed to emotionally detach myself from the dying process in order to think clearly and ensure that I was providing the best care possible to the residents in their final stages of life. What became important to me and every professional was not how he or she feels about the death/dying, but how he/she cared for them in their final days (Meilaender, 2013). I wanted to make sure they received the respect and dignity they deserved until the end. I wanted to make sure they were at ease and not in pain during this transition. During this time, I have held many hands and stayed by the residents’ or family members’ bedsides. It was obvious to me that it wasn’t about me, but about them.
Then, while working in an impatient hospital, you do your best to save lives. Because of the high turnover rate, I believe you only spend a short amount of time with your patients and don’t get a chance to get to know them. In this environment, I felt it was easier to focus and do what was right in order to keep your patient from dying. The only population that I will never get used to or be able to deal with is the death of babies and children. That is why I refuse to work in those fields.
Discussion question/Participation #3
A nurse’s comfort level with death and dying depends largely on their personal belief on the subject. I feel nurses who have a more positive attitude towards death are more likely to have a positive attitude towards providing end of life for patients. Age and experience level directly impacts a nurse’s ability to cope with death. Nursing is a career where death is a part of not only life but work. Self-care is essential and we must learn to take our own advice and find ways to rejuvenate our own spirit and live a full personal life. Then we can five the dying and their loved one the support and peace they need to make through this final transition. I work in the ICU, and we see dying patients daily and the process of dying in the ICU can be complicated. I always have missed feelings about end of life because sometimes it feels like a failure, but it does bring relief to see a patient’s prolonged suffering and pain come to an end. The provision of care and comfort allows nurses to affect a patient’s quality of life positively when death is inevitable and severe symptoms may be seen as a failure to provide care (Westerholm, 2018).
Discussion question/Participation #4
Requests by patients to end their life prematurely has brought about debates concerning the nature of euthanasia. Euthanasia encompasses various dimensions including active which involves a health care provider introducing something to cause the death of a person, to passive wherein health care providers withhold treatment measures so as to end the life of a patient. Various standpoints have been taken by various groups which are interested in the subject. Some for example have associated euthanasia with the sin of suicide in the sense that it is a means which causes people to die including in situations where an individual autonomously agrees to die, which this school of thought then refers to as physician- assisted suicide (Math & Chaturvedi, 2012).
This school of thought is erroneous in the sense that patients have a right to exercise their sense of autonomy and should therefore be in a position to choose death in accordance with their unchallenged wishes. To deny a patient this right is basically to take away an opportunity for them to decide what they believe is good for them and for example to continue subjecting them to unnecessary pain which is associated with treatment (Brody, 2013). If a patient does not want to undergo such suffering, they ought not to be compelled to do it.
Discussion question/Participation #5
Christianity opposed euthanasia on grounds of morality. The idea that life is sacred and suicide is forbidden was enforced. Physicians were explicitly prohibited from taking on any role in assisted suicide because suffering was seen as the wage of sin and atonement for wrongdoings(Haerens, 2015). I do not agree with this belief, because if this is true why are babies born with congenital defects that are not supportive of life? Why do children get cancer? If a person does good works their entire life and devotes their life to God and serving others, then why must they suffer at death? I do not believe it has to do with sin, I believe it to be simply a physiological state of dying.
Discussion question/Participation #6
Working in the ICU we ride the fine line of what we are doing as far as lifesaving procedures, medications and treatments. I often think of certain patients did not have certain medications they would die. Thus, making me think if I am playing God or getting in the way of his plan for certain people. As far as euthanasia goes, I agree somewhat with the readings but again it is not always black and white and very much a gray area. I think that patients/ people that seek out euthanasia should go through counseling to make sure they are fit to make these decisions for themselves and to fully understand what they are doing. I know when families tell nurses and doctors that they no longer want their family member to be on the ventilator or on life saving medications, that they want us to withdraw, our patients sometimes stay alive for quite some time. Medications such as opiates and benzodiazepines are administered at end-of-life care. Sometimes I think is this medication to help them die peacefully or are these medications given to make them die faster? When people commit suicide, I believe they were battling bigger demons inside themselves and did not know how to ask for help. I believe God understands that and, in the future, will help guide that person in another life.