A client of mine is receiving hospice care for lung disease. When I visited her last week she had a rash all over her head and the side of her neck. In talking to the nurse I was advised, “Well she’s dying”. My reply was yes, but the rash isn’t the reason she is dying and I want it treated. This is a situation where because of my profession, I know more than the nurse working at the nursing home. There is absolutely no reason anyone should have to be uncomfortable, even when dying. The same client has also become very paranoid and nervous. This is also being treated upon my insistence but only after my being at the nursing home and demanding to see the physician on staff. For whatever time a person has remaining, don’t let medical providers tell you they can’t be treated for symptoms NOT relating to the eventual cause of death. And make sure you’re visiting frequently to make sure they are receiving the care they receive. Just because they’re dying doesn’t mean they don’t need and deserve a high level and quality of care.

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