Few people feel prepared for any death, whether their own or a loved one's. It is hard to think about. But we will all encounter it, and many of us will care for a dying person. Here are some things that everyone should know about death. A little bit of knowledge around dying can help ensure that dying goes well.
To start, a hospital is not a good place to die. The whole place is designed around the medical profession's main goal: to cure disease. Hospitals don't do symptom relief,…Continue
Added by Nurse PhD on October 3, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments
"Giving up" is a phrase with mixed connotations. Some are victorious; people give up beer to lose weight, give up gambling to save money, and give up smoking to live longer. Other instances proclaim failure, holding hints that we should have quit some useless pursuit much earlier. ("Why did you stay with that mean, cheating spouse so long?") We give up trying, give up all hope, and give up our lives up to Jesus. We give up trying.…Continue
Quality improvement experts in health care settings know that analyzing “near miss” events can inform us of potential errors and help promote better quality. Health care providers know that errors of omission and commission should be reported, particularly if there is patient harm, but “near misses,” errors that were found and corrected before reaching the patient, are reported much less often. Why? I think it may be because near misses are difficult to pin down. Near misses have been…Continue
Added by Nurse PhD on March 27, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments
Re-reheated EP from the "other" Salon; this version originally posted on Open Salon JULY 22, 2011 3:35PM.
Several years ago, my practice included palliative care for people with late-stage cancer. In this realm where no one survives, many of my assumptions as a health care provider were challenged. Among the things that people facing death taught me to reconsider were the judgments underlying much of the cancer "medicalspeak." I…
Another reheated post from that "other" Salon.
MARCH 30, 2012 6:11PM
This week the New England Journal of Medicine published an evaluation of Premier HQID, a Medicare pay-for-performance program that provides monetary incentives to hospitals to improve quality of care. Hospitals that perform well on certain measures get 1-2% bonuses and hospitals that…Continue
Recycled post from that "other" Salon.
I slept for 12 hours last night, groggily emerging from my rest at 11:30 a.m. I never do this and I don't know why it happened. Maybe simple fatigue from rushing for 12 1/2 hours yesterday in the Trauma ICU, coupled with my advancing age suffices, but something about this fatigue feels more than physical. I process when I sleep, often awakening with new insight into an old problem, or at least a clear awareness that the problem…Continue
Although Agnes adjusted admirably, the Adirondacks addled her. Andrew argued the appointment would end by August. Agnes was not assured. She'd advocated for Atlanta, and even Alabama, but "Appalachia" angered her aristocratic ancestors. Aggrieved Aunt Augusta, after accumulating no acknowledgement of her authority, agreed to adhere to Andrew's "Annoying After-hours Ambling" restriction, aware it was not her abode, but Agnes' and Andrew's. Animated adults needed sleep, and Augusta…Continue
“Melon” was too crude to describe them, but her breasts did call out for a certain rounded, firm, soft, sweet acclimation of my admiration. I concealed my swelling urge, but I could not peel my gaze from their gentle heaving with each breath, the peach fuzz of her perfect skin shining, then disappearing, in dawn’s light as she exhaled. Did I dare desire this plum of a woman? Or deny emotion, leaving love, devotion, and strident desire to rot on the vine like fall’s last grapes? She…Continue