To Live and
Not Merely to
School of Nursing
The learning need is directed toward the patients and
families at St. Vincent’s Medical Center as a result of the
frequent re-admissions of COPD patients.
The evidence demonstrates that patients lack
knowledge of the importance in the role of palliative
care in COPD management.
Common Barriers to palliative care initiation:
Fear of end-of-life decisions
Fear of losing hope
Fear of medical negligence
Misconception with hospice care
Lack of knowledge on the disease evolvement; COPD is
a slow- progressive disease that is debilitating due to
the symptoms of the illness and its impact on quality of
Research states that:
Dyspnea is evident in 94% of all COPD patients, increasing anxiety
and depression from fear of suffocation.
COPD decrease patient’s ability to maintain ADLs and increases
Poor management is associated with acute exacerbation resulting in
increased hospitalization, expenses and a decreased QOL
The learning need is affirmed by my CTA, Clinical
Instructor , and Manager which resulted in the creation
of the pamphlet to aid in patient education.
Significance to Patient Care
COPD patients on palliative care have a better
Quality-of-Life with decrease in anxiety and
depression that are associated with the disease.
Achieve sense of control: allowing time to plan and
prepare for the future death physically, emotionally and
Improve symptom management
Relieve burden of illness on families
Strengthen relationship with loved ones
Decrease medical expenses related to decreased acute
This project was developed because of a learning
need indicated on the Medical Respiratory unit. The
Nursing staffs are well educated on the Palliative
Care services available to COPD patients
however, patients frequently refuse these services.
As a result, brochure is created on educating
patients and family members on the importance of
a Palliative Care approach to COPD including
information on the differences between Hospice
and Palliative Care, goals and benefits of receiving
Palliative Care as well as outside resources
Benefits of the Brochure
Easy to read and understand
Excellent to supplement with verbal teaching
Successes, Problems, Lessons
Once I decided on COPD Palliative Care, I choose
patient teaching because there is a greater need for
Finding research articles from the U.S and within the last
5 years was challenging because there was not a lot of
research done on COPD Palliative Care. I had to reach
out to the librarian for assistance and managed to find
I learned that patient teaching brochures are important
supplementations in addition to verbal education done
in the hospital because patients could refer back to it in
Implications for Professional
I will be more conscientious in providing education
on sensitive topics such as End-of-Life decisions.
I will be able to provide holistic care by
incorporating the physical, social, psychological
and spiritual aspects to a patient’s general health.