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Jul
30

Discussion: Life Support (Chap. 6-9)

This book is making my head spin! So much to think about and talk about and post about! I hope you’re enjoying it too!

Feel free to answer any of these, add your own, or simply discuss in the comments below. Responding to specific questions will help me take the pulse of my readers and choose topics for further posts. And don’t forget to check out questions about Chapters 1-2 and Chapters 3-5.

And if you haven’t read the book but you still want to chime in about any of the questions below, please feel free to join the conversation!

Chapter 6 – “A Mentor of Their Own”

  1. What is your preferred learning style? Have personal experiences as a patient affected how you provide education to your own patients and colleagues?
  2. Does your workplace offer formal methods for processing what you experience? For debriefing about unexpected/tragic events?
  3. If Florence Nightingale practiced evidence-based nursing, why do you think some nurses resist the idea of nursing research?
  4. Jeannie Chaisson offers an explanation for why patients may be “non-compliant” on page 164. How can we reframe the idea of non-compliance to be more empathetic and respectful of our patients’ decisions?
  5. What do you think constitutes a “good doctor” (p. 169)?

Chapter 7 – “Collaborative Care”

  1. Do you think nurses have a responsibility to learn and understand regulatory issues that affect patient care (insurance policies, federal/state/local law, etc.)? What tools might be available to increase our awareness?
  2. How have social determinants of health (poverty, environment, politics, etc.) affected your ability to provide quality care to your patients?
  3. How can we increase our patients’ comfort levels around the topic of death and dying, still one of the “last taboo subjects in American culture” (p. 185)? What role can nurses play in minimizing/removing the taboo?
  4. How do you cope when a patient vents his/her anger on you?
Chapter 8 – “A Good Enough Death”
  1. How do you cope with the work of caring for very sick and/or dying patients?
  2. Does your workplace/school offer formal mechanisms for processing/debriefing when a patient dies? If so, do you participate in these opportunities? If not, do you have your own rituals for mentally/emotionally processing these experiences?
  3. Did your medical or nursing school offer coursework/clinical experiences on caring for the dying and developing the “skill of involvement” (p. 200)?
  4. Do you think patient suffering would decrease if doctors considered nurses to be their equals?
  5. Does your hospital/workplace offer palliative care consult services? How often are these services utilized? Do you need a doctor’s order to implement the consult? Do you believe your colleagues understand what “palliative care” means? How do you define palliative care?
Chapter 9 – “Final Checkups”
  1. Did you have opportunities to develop mentoring relationships (either as a mentor or mentee)? How did these relationships affect your outlook on nursing and your own learning?
  2. Have you ever had a patient insult your intelligence/knowledge as a nurse? How did you respond?
  3. Do you think nursing case management has changed as health care has changed? For better or for worse?
*Note: Page numbers are based on the edition that I read.
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