Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The hospice experience

I thought I would update you on my day shadowing a hospice nurse since I've mentioned here that I'm considering becoming one some day. The experience was fabulous. The nurse was so wise and helpful and compassionate. I learned a lot from her and she inspired me. Three specific things I learned about being a hospice nurse were:
  1. It helps if you like animals because a lot of people have pets who are dear to them. This, of course, is a positive thing for me because I adore animals. (I wish I had a farm!!)
  2. I was really surprised that some of the patients were in denial about their impending death and the nurse had to use her best judgment and sometimes not reveal all of the information she knew or not contradict patients who made statements like "when I get better..." I know if I were dying I would want to know everything, but I learned that not everyone can handle that.
  3. She suggested starting nursing in a hospital setting and after watching her I have to completely agree. Hospice care is really about comfort measures and so there isn't much opportunity to really hone some of the more complex nursing skills that I would like to master. Of course, down the line I am definitely still interested in hospice nursing.



  • At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Girl,

    She told me exactly the same thing specifically Med Surge... as my goal from working with her is hospice also... Great minds think alike!


  • At 7:58 PM, Blogger Anne Basso said…

    Where I work I care for hospice patients on a regular basis. I think it's also important to remember that when you work hospice you don't just care for the patient, but the family as well.

    For me, helping a person and their family through a death is very similar to helping them through a birth. They will remember forever, what you as a nurse was willing to do for them, both in terms of nursing care and in compassion. And you have to have equal parts of both.

    I'm so glad to hear you considering hospice. We need compassionate nurses in the field. But, one of the great things about nursing is the ability to branch out and do other things.

    Can you tell I'm loving that you're in nursing school? lol


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