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Martha Sturdivant Case Story and Case Study: Background

Martha Sturdivant’s Story and Case Study: A Focus on Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis

Martha Sturdivant’s Story and Case Study: A Focus on Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis

Martha Background

Martha Sturdivant is a 53-year-old black woman who has had a progressive decline in her health over the last 5 years. Upon exercising, she has been short of breath with her tolerance declining to the point that she was evaluated in the Emergency Department three years ago. She was admitted for presumptive pneumonia with several small ground glass areas seen on chest x-ray with accompanying shortness of breath and decreased oxygen. Ultimately, an evaluation revealed Interstitial Lung Disease, more specifically Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis of unknown origin. Although she never smoked, her father was a heavy smoker, and she was exposed to second-hand smoke during her early life. She was raised on the family farm and was exposed to pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals.

Martha is a widow, with an 18-year-old son, Jason, who lives in the home and helps with some housework and assists his mother with activities of daily living. He was 15 years old when she was first diagnosed and hospitalized. He will graduate from high school this year; however, his school performance has been impacted by the stress of his mother’s illness, as well as his learning disability and moderately severe ADHD, for which he has been prescribed medication. Jason had to change school districts when they moved to a less expensive apartment last year during the middle of his junior year. At times he is angry and withdrawn. Betty, Martha’s sister, lives in the same town. Martha realizes she is very ill and is concerned about who will care for Jason if something happens to her. She is a spiritual person and finds strength in her faith.

A year after her diagnosis, Martha was awarded disability benefits through Social Security and has had Medicaid healthcare intermittently. She will qualify for Medicare Part A after she has been on disability for 2 years. She is unsure she will be able to pay for co-insurance of Medicare.

Martha had worsening shortness of breath and comes to the palliative care clinic to see if the healthcare providers can help her symptoms. She wants to know what she can do for her shortness of breath.

Case Study Participants

Martha Sturdivant is a 53-year-old widow who has Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis which is progressive over the last 5 years. She struggles to be independent and is a single mom.

Rhonda Phillips is a Bachelor’s prepared Nurse in the palliative care outpatient clinic.

Elizabeth Hendrix is a psychologist who works part time in the palliative care outpatient clinic.

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Palliative Care: Easing Non-Pain Physical Symptoms

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