A patient is dying and has become unconscious but is still breathing. While standing next to the patients bed, his sister says, I always wanted to tell him that I loved him, but it was so hard for me. Now it is too late. Which response of the nurse is most appropriate?

 

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Correct

- You can still tell him if you want. Hearing is the last sense to leave so he may hear you.

- He probably already knows.

- We should talk about this somewhere else and not at the bedside.

- Next time, do not wait, and tell the person when you think of it.

Rationale

A patient who is dying and has become unconscious may still be able to hear what is going on around him. Studies have shown that hearing is the last sense to go when a person dies. The nurse should not make the patients sister feel bad about her feelings, but should instead encourage her to communicate if she wants to know that it is not too late.

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