If you are ready to begin the conversation, there are guides available to help you figure out where to start. The most common conversation starter is the Five Wishes.

Completing the Five Wishes is something you can do on your own, and once it is signed and notarized, is recognized as a legal document in most states and provides more specific information about your and-of-life wishes to share with your family, friends, and healthcare team. The Five Wishes has been translated into 28 languages and (for $5.00) is available online.

As a person gets closer to end-of-life, advance care planning begins to look a little different and more specific decisions may need to be made about Durable Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Orders may need to be completed with your health care provider. A complimentary form is the Physician Order for Scope of Treatment – or the POST form.

NOTE: The name of Virginia’s form is a misleading as Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are authorized to sign POST forms under the Code of Virginia Sections  64.1-2957.02 and  54.1-2952.2. (Health care organizations may have policies that impose limitations on this authority based on their individual scope of practice). Kudos to North Carolina, a state that calls their form a MOST form – Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment. In North Carolina, physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants must sign the MOST form in order for it to be valid.


Show originally aired August 28, 2017




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About Melissa:

Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN. I am a nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse researcher with over 25 years of experience in the aging and long-term care healthcare space. You can visit my website at MelissaBPhD.com to learn more about me, how you can work with me directly,
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