“The nurses do things that can be quantified,” one of our hospice chaplains announced, “which is not like what us chaplains or the social workers do.”
With hospice, a patient is supported by a “team” of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, home health aides, and volunteers.
Was the chaplain, a person and a professional I respect, correct?
What is quantified? It’s a word describing precision, numbers, and comparisons.
A nurse may ask a patient what her or his pain is like on a scale of 1-to-10 or (especially if a patient can no longer talk) to choose from a range of emoji faces depicting happy smiles to grim anguish. Nurses increase or decrease the precise dosages of medications based on experience, information, and established guidelines.
The medical staff in hospice—and this is one of the tough parts of patient care—needs to regularly report how a patient is declining. If a hospice patient demonstrates consistent improvement in their physical health, they certainly still have an illness (and can’t stop the aging process), but they may no longer be eligible for the hospice benefit.
- Is the patient losing weight?
- Does he require stronger doses of pain medication?
- Is she eating less, or only liquids, compared to last week or month?
Yes, nurses quantify, with specifics, to discern a patient’s changes. Read More →by