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Flashcards in Suffering Deck (19):

Suffering vs. Pain

- Suffering is NOT the same as pain, but closely related to it
- When pain persists without meaning it becomes suffering
- Occurs when an individual feels voiceless
- Suffering is the Resistance to what is...


Total Pain- "key elements of total pain"

- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Spiritual Suffering
- Emotional Distress


Predictors of suffering

- Regret for past events
- Current marital problems
- Little social support
- Pessimistic attitude


The Body and Suffering

- A body experiences pain, a body does NOT suffer
- A Person experiences pain AND suffers
- To acknowledge suffering, you need to acknowledge that a person is involved


Suffering as ______ (3 big ones)

- Intensely personal
- Loss of control
- Loss of relationship


Things commonly heard from people who are suffering

- What happens at the time of death
- What is it like to die?
- Do you think God is in this room right now?
- This is a hell of a life...
- What was the meaning of my life?
- Why is this happening?
- What did I do to deserve this?
- What do you think about euthanasia?


Things caregivers NEED to understand about suffering

- You can't solve suffering with your mind
- You can't solve suffering with your hands
- You can't solve suffering with your heart

- You can't solve suffering....


Common goals of care of with serious illness

- Control pain and other distressing symptoms
- Alleviate psychosocial problems
- Communicate Effectively
- Provide empathetic presence
- Foster realistic hope


Alleviating Psychosocial problems

- Utilize entire interdisciplinary team
- Loneliness financial concerns etc... that all contribute to suffering
- Solving these issues will help alleviate the patient's sense of isolation


Fostering Hope

- Essential to quality of life
- Hope changes
- I hope for a cure- I hope people will be honest with me
- I hope my life has meaning


Strategies to cultivate hope

- Effectively control pain
- Develop caring relationships
- Set attainable goals involving patient in decisions
- Support spirituality
- Affirm patients worth
- Light-hearted humor when appropriate
- Reminisce


The importance of presence

- can have a healing power
- creates deep relationships
- Good way to help understand "meaning" or "purpose"
- All core aspects of suffering are approached JUST BY BEING ABLE TO DO THIS!


How to provide empathetic presence

- Atmosphere that encourages questions
- Reduces stress
- Body language
- Listen. Being heard can be the most effective treatment. DON'T DO SOMETHING- JUST SIT THERE!
- Presence and gentle reassuring touch


FICA model of Spiritual assessment

F- Faith and belief- Do you have spiritual beliefs that help you cope with stress?
I- Importance- What importance does your belief have in your life?
C- Community- Are you part of a religious or spiritual community?
A- How do your beliefs influence what we do in your care?


HOPE model of spiritual assessment

H- sources of hope, meaning, comfort, strength, peace, love and connection
O- Organized religion or community
P- Personal spirituality and practices
E- Effects on medical care and end-of-life issues


3 "levels" of spiritual connection

- Connected- drawing effectively on personal beliefs and relationships in a crisis
- Unconnected- Never identified with a religious community or followed any particular belief system
- Disconnected- No active connections with spiritual resources now, but have had in the past


Identifying "care gates" opened by the patient

- Awareness of the holy
- Sense of providence
- Sense of faith
- Sense of grace
- Sense of repentance
- Sense of communion
- Sense of vocation


What do do with Care gates the patient opens?

- Can indicate strengths to rely on
- can reveal areas that need attention or development for wholeness
- Are touchstones for spiritual care focus and attention initiated by the patient


Response to suffering- care giver competencies- why understanding your own suffering helps you

- Ability to maintain boundaries
- Ability to empathize
- Ability to contain own suffering
- Ability to listen well
- Ability to focus and attend to the sufferer's agenda
- Ability to learn from experience and to see patterns
- Ability to engender a sense of safety and comfort
- Willingness to take calculated risks