Patients with terminal diseases require specific services that usually fall under the umbrella term of end-of-life care (EoLC). Incorporating palliative therapy and medical support, EoLC demands a continuity of care, which is represented by careful scheduling, emotional support, continuous dialogue with a patient, and coordination of care (Sugar, Riekse, Holstege, & Faber, 2014). In order to manage the process from the perspective of a healthcare provider, a combination of emotional competence, the involvement of family members, and palliative care is needed.
Addressing the fear of death and the associated emotional distress that a patient experiences when learning about their condition is one of the most difficult tasks that a healthcare provider has to manage when catering to the needs of terminally ill people. Apart from the natural fear of death, the anxiety about becoming a burden is quite common in the target demographic (Buttaro, Trybulski, Polgar-Bailey, & Sandberg-Cook, 2016). Therefore, as a healthcare provider, one should educate a patient about the resources that healthcare services provider to prove that the process of dying will occur with as little pain and discomfort as possible (Sugar et al., 2014). Moreover, the use of family therapy with an intervention implying an open dialogue with family members will help to prove to a dying patient that they are not perceived as a burden (Buttaro et al., 2016). Due to the high level of emotional involvement, the process is truly strenuous, yet the described steps are imperative for keeping a patient’s dignity intact and creating a comfortable environment for them.
To scrutinize the phenomenon of the EoLC from the standpoint of a healthcare provider, one should also pay attention to impediments and misunderstandings that may emerge in the process of catering to patient’s needs. Overcoming them is the most rewarding experience that a healthcare provider can have in the described circumstances. The management of refusal from proposed healthcare services in terminally ill patients should be accepted with understanding and respect toward patients’ wishes (Buttaro et al., 2016). Therefore, as a healthcare provider, one should accept the stance that will allow one to encourage patients’ agency and ensure that “the patient’s choice should prevail” (Sugar et al., 2014, p. 98). It is important to let a patient examine the idea of death in a comfortable setting that is devoid of stress.
In this regard, considering the idea of euthanasia, its legality, and the options that a patient has for it can be listed among the changes that have to be made in the context of EoLC. Although euthanasia currently has a legal status in a range of states, ongoing debates against it and concerning its reasonability affect terminally ill patients negatively. To help the target demographic preserve their dignity, euthanasia should be made legal and available to patients with incurable diseases. Thus, as a healthcare provider, one should focus on the legal aspect of the EoLC process. Assisting a patient in seeking the services that will help to manage the related issues is another responsibility of a healthcare provider (Sugar et al., 2014). The described steps will help patients to retain their dignity and select the options that they will deem as the most suitable without being constrained by prejudices or bureaucracy.
By compiling an EoLC framework that contains the elements of emotional support, palliative care, and emotional connection with the family and the community, a healthcare provider can ensure that the quality of a patient’s life will be retained at a rather high level. The integration of a healthcare provider perspective into the management of the needs of terminally ill patients is critical due to the necessity to embrace every facet of a patient’s life, including not only medical but also social support. Similarly, the focus on changes in a patient’s well-being is essential since it will allow a healthcare provider to notice emerging problems.
Buttaro, T. M., Trybulski, A., Polgar-Bailey, P., & Sandberg-Cook, J. (2016). Primary care: A collaborative practice (5th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Sugar, J., Riekse, R. J., Holstege, H., & Faber, M. A. (2014). Introduction to aging: A positive, interdisciplinary approach. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.