Challenges and Innovations in End-of-Life Care

Challenges and Innovations in End-of-Life Care

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As nurses, you’re constantly in different environments and face difficulties that can trigger an emotional response and remind you of the importance of your job in this nebulous, constantly changing industry. In particular, hospice nurses who offer care for the dying help patients get to the end stage of their lives while being an advocate for patients, caregivers, and relatives during this challenging moment. Although everyone makes end-of-life decisions of all ages, the proportion of people over 65 is expected to grow by a factor of two in 2060. It means it is essential for nurses to plan for end-of-life needs in case they are required and be aware of any potential problems that may arise.

There’s no doubt that you’ll be confronted with ethical dilemmas when you work as a nurse. Death and the manner in which it progresses can be considered ethical from a moral standpoint. Being able to navigate these situations during a crisis is essential to death care.

We’ll talk about the importance of knowing the morality of death care. We’ll also discuss how the telehealth Doctor of Nursing Practice program will help you understand ethics and help you prepare for the scenarios of end-of-life for patients and their families.

End-of-life care is a complex subject that often raises ethical, legal, and emotional controversies. Advances in medical technology have brought forward new issues, such as physician-assisted death, euthanasia, and palliative sedation, which require a careful balance between respecting patients’ autonomy and ensuring their safety. Recent updates in end-of-life care have emphasized the importance of advanced care planning, shared decision-making, and interdisciplinary team approach to provide holistic and patient-centered care. 

However, disparities exist among populations with limited access to quality end-of-life services. Healthcare professionals must stay updated on the latest guidelines for end-of-life care based on mutual respect, sensitivity to cultural differences, and evidence-based practices that aim to improve comfort and quality of life for patients nearing the end of their lives while providing support for family members.

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It is Crucial to Understand Ethical Questions

Nurses who help patients during their final hours or days could be confronted with a morally challenging situation. Nurses and doctors alike must provide patients with complete information regarding the treatment options and possible results. Medical professionals may work on the deontological model, which is explained in “Ethical Questions Concerning End-of-Life Care the Narrative Review of End-of-Life Care,” which outlines the connection between morality and duty in the actions of humans.

As nurses, you can utilize various sources to consult if you’re not certain of the best solution for the issue. Engaging in an ethics consult, seeking out suggestions from the hospice team and other medical experts, and using educational resources will help you deal with an ethical issue. Many institutions include an ethics panel that can assist you in tackling these situations. Knowing the most frequent issues that you might confront can help you during the process of making decisions.

Some Common End-Of-Life Ethical Problems

Quality care and the patient’s wants and requirements must always be the top priority. It can be challenging to see this when confronted with an ethical dilemma, particularly when someone is nearing the end of their life. Here are a few of the most frequent issues that you might encounter during the final phase of treatment:

Broken Communication

When a patient can no longer speak for themselves or family members are having difficulties describing the wishes of their loved ones, nurses could face difficulties in communicating in the process of making decisions. End-of-life conversations are always challenging, but they have to be conducted. Asking patients ahead of time about their desires, in addition to providing the correct information and resources, will ensure an open line of communication. Learning from an experienced registered nurse’s perspective helps prospective nurses appreciate the importance of strong and effective communication. Jeanne Erickson, Ph.D., RN, told the Oncology Nursing Society that nurses must advocate for regular family gatherings so that everyone is aware of the condition of the patient and the best actions to take as the illness develops.

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Compromised Patient Autonomy

The Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) is designed to improve the capacity of health professionals to communicate with patients. It allows patients to make decisions regarding treatments for their final days, but this phase of life can have restrictions. As nurses, you must respect your patient’s autonomy while ensuring the most effective treatment option without compromising the patient’s decisions. Nurses should help patients and their family members talk about end-of-life issues and use advance directives to ensure that the patient’s wishes are protected if they lose their ability to make choices about their medical care.

Poor Symptom Management

Treatment for symptoms is a critical element of nursing care for patients at the end of their lives since it raises the question of whether the benefits of medication are worth any risk or adverse effects. The treatment of symptoms has to be balanced against the possible negative side effects that medications can cause. Fortunately, we have many effective treatment options for the symptoms. It is important to remember that there’s always a need to maintain the right balance and stay focused on the most beneficial to the patient’s health and well-being.

Participation in Decision-Making

One of the significant aspects of dying care making decisions can be a problem of ethics when more than one person is involved. If significant others try to thwart the patient’s wishes, nurses have to decide on trusting the motives of their loved ones or respecting the wishes of the patient. Advance directives, like living wills or medical power of attorneys, or Doctor Orders to Maintain Life Therapy and DNR orders, must be considered before presenting them while making decisions.

Patients and their loved ones are advised to prepare for any situation which may appear uncontrollable. It can make sharing decisions easier when a patient cannot communicate to make a crucial decision independently.

A critical function of a nurse is helping patients create advanced plans that will guide them through their final care by listening and providing the necessary details.

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How End-Of-Life Care Grows With Telemedicine

As the use of telemedicine in end-of-life care grows, so does the need to address its controversies and updates. These include issues such as the ethical concerns surrounding virtual communication of sensitive information, the quality of end-of-life discussions handled through telemedicine, and ensuring that patients can access necessary equipment remotely. Updates in this field have been made in recent years to address these concerns, including standardized protocols for telehealth services, ongoing training for clinicians and caregivers who provide such care virtually, and continuous evaluation of patient satisfaction with telemedicine-based end-of-life care. While undoubtedly face-to-face communication is irreplaceable when dealing with complex issues involved in palliative care, when it comes to improved accessibility and convenience for both patients and caregivers –telehealth services -if done right– can be a major tool bringing relief to numerous people facing life-limiting illnesses. is an innovative and secure messaging network that puts patients first. Our free and HIPAA-compliant platform ensures the utmost privacy and security for all patient information. In addition, we offer real-time reporting on patient health and staff attrition risk, empowering healthcare providers with valuable insights into their operations.

Our easy-to-use app streamlines communication between healthcare professionals, allowing them to quickly and efficiently collaborate on patient care. Colleagues can tag one another and receive push notifications to deliver important messages immediately. It ensures that critical information is shared promptly and effectively, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

With, users can securely share various file types, including text, documents, images, and videos. All data is stored in our encrypted cloud, freeing up valuable space on users’ devices while providing the highest level of security. It enables healthcare providers to access and share patient information from anywhere, at any time.

Please get in touch with us today for more information on how can benefit your healthcare organization.

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