This question is anchored at the core of person-centered care. It’s a question we encourage nurses to ask routinely of their patients and include on the white board. I’ve grown to appreciate this question more every day as I tend to my mother in her final days of life.
Every day the hospice nurse asks this question of my mother to ensure we are all on the same page in managing her care. Today she asked me the same question and I must say, I was surprised by my own response. I had always known what was most important but I guess I hadn’t articulated it. To me, what’s most important is to make my mother as comfortable as possible, see that her wishes are honored, and make sure no harm comes to her on my watch. Today I’m not the consultant, or CEO. I am the daughter and caregiver. I’ve learned that “What’s most important” drives the head, heart, and hands. When we know what’s most important to a patient we can make decisions more easily by aligning priorities. So be sure to ask this crucial question of your patients and of yourself. Clarity maximizes your resources.