How do I get ready to discuss the POLST form with the doctor or Nurse Practitioner?
Before completing the POLST form, you should have a good understanding of the overall condition and future prognosis. You should also be prepared to discuss what the personal goals are for the patient, or for yourself if you are the patient.
Following these Four Steps may help you prepare:
First, ask the doctor about the diagnosis: What are the active medical problems that need to be considered?
Second, ask the doctor about the prognosis: How much time is left and what will that time be like?
Third, tell the doctor about the patient’s personal goals of care: What is important to the patient and where does the patient wish to spend his or her remaining time?
And fourth, what treatments written on the POLST form will help achieve these personal goals?
If you’d like to learn more about these four steps and how they can help with medical decision-making, you can watch the “Learn More About: The Four Steps” video, later in this program. the 4Step iCare Plan
You may also print out an outline of the four steps and the POLST form to prepare for the discussion with the doctor or nurse practitioner.
Remember that if you are making decisions for someone else, check to see if there is an advance directive or living will that they may have written to help guide decision-making. If there is no advance directive, try to imagine what they would instruct the doctors to do if they were able to participate in the conversation.
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