Week 1: Nursing Care
Case Study: What’s the Point?
Mike, a 40-year-old former injectable drug user, was diagnosed with AIDS 2 years ago. He is admitted to
the medical unit for nutritional support and abdominal pain. Three months ago, he moved from his
apartment to a nursing home facility because of increasing weakness and inability to care for himself.
Mike has been unemployed for six years. As the nurse takes the nursing history, Mike appears anxious.
He is unshaven. His hair is uncombed, and his nails are dirty. The nursing home staff reported that he
repeatedly refuses to bathe. He answers questions without making eye contact, frequently commenting
“What’s the point?” Mike is divorced and has one teen-aged daughter, who lives with her mother. He
has not seen his daughter because he doesn’t want her to see him “like this”. Other family includes an
older sister, who helped him move to the nursing home. Mike relates that he no longer sees friends
because he did not tell them he was moving to the nursing home facility and doesn’t want them to know
that he is living there. When the nurse has finished taking the history, he asks her to pull the curtains,
shut the door and leave him alone. When she returns to give Mike his medication, he screams, “I
thought I told you to leave me alone!”
Discussion: Discuss the unique role of nursing in caring for Mike. What members of the Interdisciplinary
team might be most helpful to act and why?