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Medicine LibreTexts

1: Anticipation

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    • 1.1: A Historical Overview of End-of-Life Care
      Death, especially in the United States, is a topic that makes people uncomfortable. Physical death is the cessation of all vital functions of the body, including heartbeat and respiration. Some religions believe that it is the end point of life here on earth. As such, death is often an event that is both dreaded and perceived negatively. People do not like to talk about it, plan for it, or acknowledge it, even when it is present. Death can be a normal event that occurs in the daily work setting.
    • 1.2: Types and Variability within Illness Trajectories
      Most nurses learn about the term “illness trajectory” at some point during their nursing program. In loose terms, trajectory means “course,” and therefore illness trajectory means “course of illness.” By understanding which type of illness trajectory a patient has, it will help to provide answers for two important and common questions many patients have: “How long do I have?” and “What will happen?” (Murray, Kendall, Boyd, & Sheikh, 2005).
    • 1.3: Conceptual Frameworks Guiding Death & Dying
      Often, daily events such as preparing a meal or taking care of errands are burdens instead of normal parts of the day. The way that people understand and cope with their illness varies from person to person. Some people do well and some do not; it is a multi-factorial process. In nursing and healthcare in general, scholars have developed ways that can help clinicians to better understand how people react to their health and illness.
    • 1.4: Models of Organized End-of-Life Care - Palliative Care vs. Hospice
      The following terms have been used in both clinical and research domains that fall within end-of-life care: palliative care, supportive care, comfort care and hospice care. For the purposes of this chapter, we will focus on the two most widely recognized and used among these terms: palliative care and hospice care. These two models of end-of-life care are not the same, though they are commonly misconstrued as such among the lay population as well as within the health care community.
    • 1.5: Initiating Conversations about Goals of Care
      When a person becomes seriously ill, the various stressors associated with their illness can take a toll on their overall priorities in life. Most people have an idea of what they want out of life and the things that they can accept and not accept regarding their personal well-being. When a person is diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening illness, they will have to consider what goals they hope to achieve related to their illness and what priorities they place on their current and future car