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February 2004, Volume 34 Number 2 , p 12 - 12



© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 34(2)             February 2004             p 12 Feeling doomed [ADVICE, P.R.N.: PREMONITIONS]

I'm 3 months away from graduating from nursing school. During my clinical rotation, I overheard a patient say to his nurse, “I think I'm going to die.” I never found out what happened, but now I'm wondering: How seriously should I take a patient's premonitions? —J.V., N.H.

If your patient tells you he thinks he's going to die, assess him immediately to find out why. Possible reasons range from fear and uncertainty about his prognosis to a serious change in his physical condition. For example, many patients experiencing a myocardial infarction report a feeling of impending doom.

Always take such comments seriously, investigate the underlying cause, and take the appropriate action—whether it's initiating ...

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