Working in long term care as a certified nurse assistant for many years and then as a licensed practical nurse I have cared for patients at the most vulnerable time in their lives when they are dealing with loss, grieving, and the dying process. Also, I have had family members that have been on hospice services and received really great care at the end of their lives. When Crossroads came out on our first day and provided orientation to the life journal project I had mixed feelings about the assignment. It sounded like a wonderful opportunity to volunteer. However, my main concern for the assignment at the time was that I would be intruding on a family’s space during such a vulnerable time. I was also concerned with how I would incorporate the assignment into my schedule and allow the appropriate time commitment that the project deserves. I knew it would definitely take some prioritization and time management to work the patients schedule into my schedule. I was also concerned about how the patient would feel discussing ...
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...en in our busy lives we get frustrated over the small stuff. This project really makes you take a step back and reevaluate your priorities and what is important and what you want to accomplish in this life.
As a nurse this project give you a little reminder that everyone has a story and to take more time when available to really get to know the patients and families that you are caring for. It is often easy to rush through your day because you have so much to during your shift. We should always take the time to make sure we are being compassionate, empathetic, and kind to our patients. Allowing patients to reminisce and share some of their life experience might give some insight to what they have been through in their life time. Allowing yourself that extra time to get to know your patients might just make them feel more like a person and less like a patient.
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