Dnr Statuses, how Family Members of COVID-19 Patients Can Cope, and Empathy

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Updated: Aug 15, 2023
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COVID-19 is a virus that is believed to have started in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that spreads via droplets in the air and on surfaces when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In this article, I will discuss the different types of DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) status, coping mechanisms for family members of COVID-19 patients, and the role of empathy for healthcare workers. Individuals around the world are taking an active role in their healthcare by having a living will.

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This document informs the medical staff of the patient’s treatment preferences in the event they cannot express them due to unconsciousness or unsound mental state.

A living will is commonly known as a “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) order. It specifies precisely what the patient wants. Most people opt against cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and by having a DNR, medical staff cannot intervene if the patient undergoes a cardiac arrest. CPR usually involves chest compression and artificial respiration either manually or via a machine. With a DNR, death would naturally occur without medical intervention. A DNR order may be chosen due to one’s lifestyle, health condition, or religious belief. CPR often results in broken breast bones due to compression, which is why many people decide against it and some even sign a DNI (Do Not Intubate) order. Some patients have a limited DNR, specifying varying parameters. According to Richardson DK, “Having a DNR decreases life-saving procedures, interventions, and hospital discharges”.

As noted by OHCA, patients with DNR orders have seen a decrease in cardiac catheterization by 3%, blood transfusion by 4%, ICD by 1%, and surviving to discharge by 16.4%. These are the percentages that illustrate how a DNR order limits access to life-saving techniques. Coping strategies among family members of COVID-19 patients vary, with some turning to religion. According to the CDC, family members often take a break from news or media consumption as it can be stressful. Some resort to deep breathing exercises, stretching, or meditation. Others conduct researches, reminisce about good times with their loved ones through photos, or take a walk to clear their mind. Regrettably, some resort to drinking alcohol to numb their distress. Food can also be a coping mechanism, as people sometimes find comfort in consuming certain types of food, although they may not be healthy.

If you need help, there are hotlines that can assist. You can reach the Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746, according to the CDC. Parents dealing with COVID-19 need to be mindful of how they cope because their kids are likely to react in the same way. By remaining calm and confident, they can influence their children to react similarly. As parents, we have to keep a close eye on our children, as they might not express how they feel or what they are going through–their coping strategies are different from an adult’s. It can be very stressful coping with a loved one who has COVID-19, especially if they do not have all the facts, which can leave them stressed out. Coping strategies can help; a person just has to figure out which one is best for them. My coping strategy is to pray and seek as much information as I can to help me deal with my uncle having COVID-19. My cousins are very stressed out because they are not able to see him or talk to him.

They have to trust that the doctors are fulfilling their duties in treating him. This situation is very stressful, and each one of them has their own coping strategy to get through their days. Empathy is crucial for the health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19. It is challenging to see health care workers, who are taught to be strong and fearless, crying and praying for their patients. This really puts in perspective what this virus can do to a person. The daily struggle of caring for those suffering from COVID-19 is heart-wrenching, especially seeing the extent of the patients’ suffering. According to Jerry Stone, “Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Empathy goes beyond patient diagnosis and treatment; the care and compassion that health care workers show each patient is invaluable. These health care workers and first responders risk their lives every time they put their uniform on and head to work.

The fear of contracting the virus while caring for their patients always looms over them, and they pray for their patients’ recovery. As a health care worker, when I am dealing with a patient, I treat them like family because I want the best for them. Many people do not take this virus seriously, which is why our death rate is so high. Having a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order is crucial, as it makes health care workers aware of the in-advance medical care a patient wishes to receive if they cannot express it. Family members dealing with COVID-19 have to find ways to cope with changes in their lifestyle. The virus isn’t taken seriously until it impacts one of the family members. Coping strategies help, knowing what to do and how to alleviate anxiety and stress helps. There are many resources out there that people are not familiar with, which can provide assistance. Health care workers need to show empathy towards their patients. As health care workers, we are more familiar with this virus than the general public. We see and understand what these patients are going through. I believe that if someone wants to work in the health care setting, they should have compassion, empathy, and consideration towards patients.

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Dnr Statuses, How Family Members of COVID-19 Patients Can Cope, and Empathy. (2022, Aug 27). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/dnr-statuses-how-family-members-of-covid-19-patients-can-cope-and-empathy/