Bsc in Palliative Care Nursing

OLO 1:
Topic: psychological effects of treatment

OLO 1:
Reflect upon the psychological effects of cancer and its treatment upon an individual, members of their families or those who care for them.

    • Reflection upon support and communication with female breast cancer

This reflection is based on a discussion between me as the healthcare professional and an in-patient on the ward.   The patient is a 44-year-old female with a primary diagnosis of metastatic breast ca with lung mets.   She was admitted to the ward for symptom control, specifically titration of her analgesia.

During this discussion, the patient talked about how her friends are reluctant to visit her in the hospice because they think she must be dying.   She asked me whether she was dying and we talked at length about this as well as looking for ways that she could maintain her social life whilst being an in-patient at the hospice.   Firstly, I led the conversation in the direction of the number of patients who are admitted to the hospice for reasons other than terminal care and the overall percentage of patients who are discharged home after their problems are resolved.   I felt it was important to begin the discussion with this information, to give the patient some perspective.

We then went on to discuss how she felt and whether she felt she had declined significantly prior to admission and whether this had prompted the admission in the first place.   She did not feel that she had declined, though she did feel like her symptoms had increased and the pain was now more of a problem at home.   This was reflected in her admission criteria, symptom control.   We talked about her blood test and scan results and that there was no evidence that her physical condition had declined significantly since these tests.   We talked about this being a ‘blip’ in her journey and the possibility of the increase in pain being due to psychological reasons.   I explained that this did not detract in any way from...