More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process and sheds light on euthanasia, suicide, near-death experience, and spirit visits after the passing of a loved one. ___________________________________________

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Comparison of Hospice and Hospitals for Terminal Patients

There are numerous differences between hospice and the medical model from hospitals.


In hospice, patient comfort is a top priority. While hospice acknowledges that a patient is terminal, it tries to make the most of the patients’ last days. Caretakers want the patient to be comfortable. Narcotics and opioid medication can be given in large doses for comfort. Often the patient has a PCP, a Personal Care Pump in which narcotics are self administered to reduce pain. Morphine and Demerol, strong Class II narcotics are used for pain palliation. Cure is not expected. Comfort is offered. Social workers, counselors, and nurses are available to the family to help the patient make final days dignified and bearable.

When a family takes care of a terminal patient, they usually understand that no life saving measures will be offered once a patient enters hospice. If the heart stops beating or if respirations cease, a code will not be called, and the patient will expire. The nurses are assistant coroners and will pronounce the patient dead. Pastoral care can be offered, and hospice staff helps the family make final arrangements. Relationships are made prior to the death, and the hospice staff helps the patient and family with final good byes. Most hospice workers offer compassion, information, and empathy. Patient comfort is a top priority, and family is encouraged to visit.

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