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Keywords:

  • Ethics;
  • home health;
  • hospice;
  • palliative care

Purpose

Recognizing and accepting when someone is within the palliative care trajectory is often a challenge, particularly for nursing students. In sharing this story of a nurse's experience of caring for her mother, it is hoped that the reader will gain insight into ways to enhance comfort and improve the quality of life of family members, friends, and patients. Through the lens of this lived experience, the challenges associated with honoring the wishes of a loved one during the palliative care trajectory through the end of life are shared.

Practice Implications

Exploring a person's perceptions about their quality of life is an important component of a nursing assessment. Nurses need to be prepared to maximize opportunities with patients and provide resources and information about options on their quality of life issues. Understanding and respecting another's choice develops with awareness and utilization of evidence-based knowledge in planning interventions. This article provides information on evidence-based resources and standards of practice in the context of a lived experience.

Conclusion

Experiencing the death of loved ones is always difficult. Accepting their wish to not seek medical treatment and the provision of end-of-life care is a challenge. Nurses who become comfortable and knowledgeable about the palliative care trajectory and the end of life experience will be able to provide a higher level of support and thus improve the quality of life for those they encounter.