Tag: Nursing Assessment

Articles about the nursing assessment often dealing with a terminally ill patient and the goals of maintaining comfort at the end-of-life.

Understanding Hospice Eval and Treat Orders

Provider Order To Eval And Treat For Hospice
In the world of healthcare, when a provider writes an order to "Eval and Treat" for hospice, they are asking for a thorough evaluation and a tailored treatment plan. This is specifically meant for patients who are being considered for hospice care. Let's delve into what this means and why it's crucial. What Does "Eval and Treat" for Hospice Mean?
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Hospice Nursing Visit frequencies: A Guide for New Hospice Nurses

color coded hospice staff visit calendar
As a hospice nurse, determining the appropriate frequency of scheduled nurse visits for your patients is essential to providing effective and compassionate end-of-life care. Patients and their families often rely on your expertise to ensure their comfort and well-being during this sensitive time. In this article, we'll discuss suggested starting scheduled nurse visit frequencies, when to decrease or increase frequencies, and factors to consider based on patient acuity and changes in their condition.
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Understanding Hospice Eligibility for Terminally Ill Patients with Non-Alzheimer’s Dementia

As experienced caregivers, we know how crucial it is to accurately assess and determine hospice eligibility for our terminally ill patients. Today, let's focus on patients with non-Alzheimer's dementia. While the FAST scale is not applicable in these cases, there are other signs and symptoms we should be observant of to support and prove hospice eligibility. Let's dive in!
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Understanding the Patient’s Question: When Will I Die?

Wirlpool
One common question that both patients (if they are mentally aware) and their loved ones often ask is about the timing of the patient's passing. While the exact answer lies beyond human knowledge, hospice nurses play a crucial role in assessing the patient's journey towards the end of life. In this article, we will explore how to provide a rough estimate using widely followed guidelines.
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Understanding the Importance of the PAINAD Scale in Pain Assessment for Terminally Ill Patients

Paidad Scale To Assess For Pain Observationally
As experienced hospice nurses, our primary goal is to provide the best possible care and comfort to our terminally ill patients during their final journey. Pain management is a crucial aspect of hospice care, and it becomes even more challenging when dealing with patients who may have difficulty expressing their pain due to cognitive impairments or other factors. In such situations, the PAINAD scale emerges as a valuable tool for pain assessment. Let's explore why and when using the PAINAD scale is essential, particularly when patients consistently over or underreport their pain.
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Understanding Changes in Palliative Performance Scale in the Last Six Months of Life

Palliative Performance Scale Ppsv2
In the journey towards end-of-life care, understanding the Palliative Performance Scale (PPSv2) and its downward changes in the last six months can provide valuable insights for hospice caregivers, patients, and families. This article aims to break down these changes' month by month, offering guidance on what to expect during this crucial period.
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A Holistic Approach: Hospice Nursing Assessment vs. Hospital/Nursing Home Assessment

The Intersection Of Palliative Care Prior To End Of Life And End Of Life Palliative Care Especially In The Last Hours
As an experienced hospice nurse, I understand the importance of providing compassionate care that focuses on maximizing patient comfort and removing avoidable distress. The hospice nursing assessment differs from assessments conducted in hospitals or nursing homes, where the focus is often on normal versus abnormal vital signs and lab values. In this article, I will compare the hospice nursing assessment to assessments done in other healthcare settings, providing examples that highlight the unique approach of hospice nursing.
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The Benefits of Deprescribing Medications in Hospice: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Hospice Nurses

Common Medications That May No Longer Be Needed For Terminally Ill Patients
I know just how important it is to provide comfort and support during this challenging journey. One aspect of hospice care that often raises concerns is deprescribing medications. In this article, we'll explore what deprescribing is and why it can be beneficial for patients nearing the end of life.
Read MoreThe Benefits of Deprescribing Medications in Hospice: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Hospice Nurses

Significant Signs a Terminally Ill Patient may be Close to Dying

Signs of imminent death
There are typical visible/audible signs that a person may have less than two weeks to live. There are times when we are so close to someone, we may miss the forest for the trees. Please allow me to go over some significant signs that a person with a terminal illness may have two weeks or less to live. If there is sudden onset, within the past 24-hours, any of the following signs and symptoms, please do an evaluation for end-of-life determination as soon as possible (family members seeing these signs should reach out to their hospice provider's 24x7 number):
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Managing Terminal Restlessness

Exhausted Patient From Restlessness
Losing a loved one is an incredibly challenging experience, and witnessing changes in their behavior and well-being can be distressing. As a hospice nurse, I've supported many families and caregivers through this grim time. One common symptom that may arise towards the end of life is restlessness. In this article, I will explain the different types of restlessness and offer guidance on how to manage them. Understanding these distinctions can provide valuable insights into your loved one's condition and help you navigate the final stages of their life with compassion and care.
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Understanding Heart Failure Stages and Assessment

Heart failure is a complex medical condition that can impact the quality of life of patients, especially those in hospice care. As a hospice nurse, it's crucial to assess the stage of heart failure accurately to provide appropriate care. In this article, we will explore the New York Heart Failure Classification System, its stages, and how to assess patients for their stage. Additionally, we will emphasize the importance of documentation in compliance with Medicare guidelines for terminally ill patients with heart failure.
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Understanding Functional Decline in the Natural Dying Process

In this article, we delve into the critical topic of functional decline in individuals nearing the end of life. Understanding these changes is invaluable for hospice nurses, caregivers, and family members as they provide compassionate care during this delicate phase. We will explore various examples of functional decline and emphasize the importance of documenting these changes to aid in care provision and decision-making.
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Importance of Medication Reconciliation in Hospice Care

Medication Related Errors Are The 3rd Leading Cause Of Death In The Usa
Medication reconciliation plays a pivotal role in hospice care, ensuring that terminally ill patients receive the most appropriate and safe medication regimens. This process involves creating and maintaining an accurate list of a patient's medications to prevent adverse drug events and enhance their overall well-being. In this article, we will delve into the importance of medication reconciliation, including its recommended frequency and the reconciliation process.
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Early Detection of Serotonin Syndrome in Dementia Patients: Three Case Studies

diagnosing serotonin syndrome
Serotonin syndrome is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by an excess of serotonin in the body. Detecting this condition early is crucial, but it can be particularly challenging when dealing with dementia patients due to communication barriers and the complexity of their symptoms. In this article, we will present three case studies that highlight the early detection and successful management of serotonin syndrome in patients with different types of dementia: Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, and Lewy Body Dementia.
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