This benchmark aims to educate nurses, doctors, and families on the importance of proper pain management in dying patients. The evidence in this benchmark will be appraised to improve practice, improve outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs (Melnyk, 2018). Feelings of being overwhelmed, fatigue, confusion, and guilt can occur in healthcare professionals without the proper knowledge of pain in the dying patient. Health professionals are responsible for ensuring proper care of patients is taken during the most difficult time of their lives to ensure they have the best quality of life through the end of their lives. The question to be answered is, In the dying patient, how does managed pain compared to unmanaged pain affect the quality of life during the end of life?
A proposal to be implemented is a benchmark detailing the use of continuous subcutaneous infusions and oral opioids once a patient is actively dying. This benchmark details how pain is unmanaged at the end of life and why change is necessary. Opioids have been shown to improve pain and shortness of breath during death. Since opioids have been shown to be effective, this should be implemented for hospice patients in the hospital setting to ensure symptom management with medication schedules. Data to prove why a change is necessary is the prevalence of patients in pain daily during the last thirty days of life, reports from caregivers or family members detailing symptoms the last week of life, the family's perception of quality at the end of life, data detailing patient’s place of death if pain medication was used, what route the medication was administered, and data determining if an end of life conversation occurred prior to death.
Date of publication
MSN Capstone Project
Masters in Nursing Education
Selph, Shanna, "Pain in the Dying Patient" (2023). MSN Capstone Projects. Paper 269.