Health care provided by the medical specialist.
(a) Allow the patient to mourn, cry, and talk about losses.
(b) If possible, help the patient take care of putting affairs in order.
Provide emotional support.
Patient reactions. The patient:
(a) Is prepared to die.
(b) Is at peace.
(d) May withdraw from all except a special loved one.
The patient wants to be left alone or have someone sit near, but in silence.
Family often needs more support than the patient. This is the time when it is
too late for so many words. It is also the time when relatives cry hardest for
help--with or without words.
Health care provided by the medical specialist in a medical treatment
(a) Respect the patient's need for quietness and offer reassurance by
being there as much as possible.
(b) If the patient is unresponsive, do not discuss the patient in his
room--hearing is the last sense to cease function.
(c) If the patient does not want to talk, communicate nonverbally to
indicate a sense of caring and concern.
(d) Keep the patient as comfortable as possible.
(e) Maintain emotional support for the family.
The medical specialist can be of great help during those final moments if he
can understand the family's conflicts at this time and help select the one
person who feels most comfortable staying with the patient. Those who feel
too uncomfortable can return home knowing the patient will not die alone with
no guilt for avoiding the moment of death.