Chronic diseases have become rather widespread. They tend to alter lives dramatically. This paper aims to justify the use of “transition” in terms of chronic disease, give examples of disruptive life events, and consider how nurses could assist in facilitating its impact.
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Chronic Diseases and Their Impact
It is acknowledged that chronic diseases might start at any time in life, be it the childhood or elderly age. Some of these diseases appear to be connected with obvious limitations to general health and abilities, whereas others entrain invisible limitations that are not easily recognizable. Nurses, relatives, and other people who happen to assist people with chronic diseases tend to face some difficulties and encounter challenges. Chronic diseases are stated to have different symptoms, treatment, and clinical course. Some of them might prove to be a threat to life, and as they develop, the person’s life quality and functional abilities worsen. Other illnesses cause less harm and are likely to be treated despite they are chronic and permanent. Some widely spread chronic diseases are, for instance, cerebral palsy, bronchial asthma, epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome (Redman 2013).
The life of a person with a chronic disease is not a mere fight with physical limitations that have resulted from the illness. The disease might entrain financial hardship, relations challenges, and emotional issues. People with the chronic disease might feel lonely and aloof, as well as embarrassed, scared, anxious due to their dependence on others. It happens to take much time to get used to the conditions of chronic disease and accept them (Maxwell, 2016). This shift from healthy living to life with a chronic disease is better described as a transition.
The word “change” implies the possibility of the way back, whereas “transition” is a one-way destination, and once the person has a chronic disease, life is never the same. Family life is likely to alter dramatically, especially if this is the key breadwinner who is diagnosed with a chronic disease. This is due to that this person will not be able to earn a living for a long time, or the treatment requires long-term alterations in the family’s day-to-day life and activities. These appear to be disruptive life events. Besides, so as to follow the doctor’s prescriptions, conduct the treatment, solve financial issues, and get accustomed to limitations and transitions which are entrained by a chronic disease, the person is supposed to acquire and develop new skills and habits.
It is important for a nurse to have a comprehension of how the disease affects each particular patient. This will help to realize what assistance is needed and what challenges the person have been facing. It is essential to be sensitive to some particular needs connected with hygiene and physical assistance. Besides, it is critical to bear in mind the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of the person. It is important to find time to show genuine interest. It is necessary not to focus only on the disease but to give attention to the person on the whole. It is crucial to help the person to preserve dignity. So, the person is supposed to be supported in the desire to be self-dependent as much as possible. The nurse is expected t be positive. Besides, it is important to listen to patients carefully. It might help them to accept and understand the disease. In the case of a long hospitalization, the nurse should try to explain to the relatives and friends that the patient might be glad to be regularly seen (Redman 2013).
This paper has justified the use of “transition” in terms of chronic disease. Besides, it has provided examples of disruptive life events. What is more, it has considered nursing assistance.
Maxwell, J. A. (2016). Fearless: How a diagnosis of a chronic disease turned my world upside down. New York, NY: Author Solutions.
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Redman, B. K. (2013). Advanced practice nursing ethics in chronic disease self-management. New York, NY: Springer.