I ‘ve read and heard a lot about the Liverpool Care Pathway lately. Nursing a terminally ill patient is always a challenge. When I was a student nurse we would have allocated someone to “special” a very ill person. This meant that he/she was in the care of that nurse until she passed away. The nurse would sit behind the curtains as long as her shift allowed and some else took over, and often she would stay well after her shift had ended
It has been known since the dinosaurs roamed ,that as far as possible a patient should keep up fluids for as long as possible, even if it was just a few sips of water, as this made the dying process much more comfortable. Of course apart from pain relief other drugs are probably not necessary. As a senior member of staff, I would still insist on “turning” and full nursing care to the end.
Today, a person will perhaps have the luxury of a single room, but is unlikely to have a staff member present, as staffing levels are low. LCP ,in my opinion, could allow some Nurses to leave someone alone to fade away, dehydrating, malnourished and uncared for. I for one am glad it is being phased out. I hope that a better care package is put in place to ensure that someone is cared for physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I would like to see the training of Nurses changed, I would like more emphasis on holistic care and less dependency on technology. Lets get back to treating people the way we would like to be nursed ourselves, with empathy and sensitivity. “Vocation” is not a P.C. word these days, but it changes the way we view the word “job”.