On February 14th I spent a day doing something I never thought I would do in a million years, I went to hospice. I always thought I would hate hospice, but I actually didn’t mind it too much, it isn’t a job I see myself doing in the future but it is a job that I understand why people do it and why they enjoy it. During this observation I was touched by how much these nurses really seem to care for each of the patients that they have.
At the beginning of the day all of the nurses have a meeting to discuss the patients and the patients families. This meeting is a lot like report at the hospital, except they are discussing the patient’s family as somebody that they are there to care for as well. These nurses are available to talk to 24 hours
Final Gifts, written by hospice care workers, Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelly, includes various stories detailing each of their life changing experiences that they encountered with their patients. Hospice care allows the patient to feel comfortable in their final days or months before they move on to their next life. This book contains the information considered necessary to understand and deal with the awareness, needs, and interactions of those who are dying. Not only are there stories told throughout the book, there are also tips for one to help cope with knowing someone is dying and how to make their death a peaceful experience for everyone involved. It is important that everyone involved is at as much peace as the person dying in the
Dealing with death on a regular basis can take a toll on a person. Being a hospice nurse will never be easy and is certainly not for the faint of heart. A hospice nurse watches patient’s health decline, often times very rapidly, and many times sit by the patient’s side as they pass away. It can be exhausting both emotionally and physically. You need to have a big heart and a strong will to help those in need for the occupation. Sara Schmidt certainly never saw herself in the profession, but discovered that she has a true love for helping people.
God tells his children, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation). Death is one of the most frightening and confusing times a person can go through. Watching a loved one pass away is also one of the hardest trials a person can experience. Many people assume that death is a time of pain and the only thing that they can do is mourn and watch their loved one fade away from the earth. This is wrong. There are ways that people can turn a bad situation to good. Dying doesn’t have to be painful and full of suffering. The County Hospice staff makes sure of this. The Hospice staff not only takes care of passing patients physically, but they also take care of the patients emotionally and spiritually. Hospice staff also plays a key role in helping families during the grieving process.
After reading the different stories in the book “Final Gifts”, I believe I have a better understanding of the nurse’s role in caring for the needs of the dying patient and how their families need to be guided through this experience. The different stories in this book provide insight into the experiences of the dying as well as how their loved ones cope with their loss. The authors Maggie Callahan and Patrician Kelly, experienced hospice nurses who have extensive exposure to dying patients and their families, through their shared stories, paint a picture of what the dying want. To many, death is a difficult concept.
You did an awesome work, I heard. We have monthly meetings, where we talk about the latest news in the nursing world, policy and procedure, quality improvement and many more issues. What I really enjoy about the meeting is that everyone can address his/her concerns without feeling afraid and intimidated. The meeting led by a registered nurse who is familiar with our day to day situation at work.
In fact, it is important to the patient’s healing. Before a patient comes to my floor, I look up their history and reasons for admission. This is the gathering or pre-orientation phase. The orientation phase for the bedside nurse would be when the patient arrives on the floor. The nurse introduces their self to the patient and begins establishing trust. The nurse asks the patient questions to see what their expectations are and clarifies the expectations of the hospital or unit. The nurse then explains the plan of care to the patient and answers any questions. In the working phase, the nurse is the patient’s advocate and addresses any problems the patient has. The nurse assures the patient they will research any problems and find out the answers as quickly as possible. Once the nurse finds the answers, he/she relays the information to the patient and the family. He/she may give the patient educational materials, show them a video or simply provide an explanation from the provider. During the resolution phase, the nurse provides discharge information. He/she answers any questions related to discharge and provides the patient with instructions post discharge from the hospital. If the nurse has established a relationship and trust with the patient, the hospital stay and discharge should leave the patient confident that they are well enough for discharge home or to a facility.
Firstly, Nurses must develop the right communication tools when dealing with their patients. For example most nurses do bedside reporting, before they change their shift in the morning, therefore they would be relaying information to the other nurse about the patient they dealt with during the night. The nurse that is going off shift would give a report to the incoming nurse in the presence of the patient. He or she has to discuss the condition of the patient, medications and the procedures so the next nurse would be on the same level. Most nurses in the General Hospital do their reporting by the bedside of their patients.
One of the most poignant statements that I have heard during my tenure in nursing school is that “Nurses are often the first person that an infant sees at birth and the last person that a patient sees upon death.” Nurses have contact with patients recurrently along this continuum of life, now more than ever. This is due to the world’s aging population and the correlating factor of higher patient acuity (Larson, 2013). This frequent and close contact with nurses has fostered a sense of trustworthiness in the minds of U.S. citizens. This is evidenced by a recent Gallup Poll which listed nurses as the most honest and ethical professionals in America (www.galluppoll.com, 2015). Nurses have the challenging task of providing this trust-worthy,
Through the traumatic experience of my father’s illness, a positive and optimistic perspective of commitment to nursing career evolved. My journey of becoming a nurse and commitment of shining a bright light on another individual life has been my life long goal. I moved to the United States in early 1980 and with God help and guidance, I followed the nursing career and promised to make a small difference. During my first years as a nursing student, I took a part-time volunteered position as a candy-stripe and a part-time position as a nurse aid in a community hospital to provide relief and support to hospital staffs. I rocked and read poems for babies in the nursery, as a nurse aid I assist nurses with vital signs, blood pressures, fill ice pitchers in patient rooms, runs specimens to labs and sit with patients in the room and feed patients. I still volunteer in my hospital oncology department and the underserved and homeless clinics with several Emory physicians at the Good Samaritan Health Center, Mercy Care and National AIDS Education and Services for Minorities (NAESM) all in Fulton County, Ga, because it gave me fulfillment and appreciative of life
“Persons intentionally choose to become nurses to help patients meet their health needs,” even when the patient is actively dying. (Wu & Volker, 2012) Hospice nursing and palliative care nursing are both considered end of life care. However, hospice nursing is typically given to patients with a terminal illness and who have less than six months to live. Palliative care is typically given to patients with a life threatening illness, and is used to increase the patient’s quality of life. Choosing a nursing career in either hospice or palliative care can be extremely difficult, but will provide an opportunity for great personal growth. At times, an end-of-life caregiver may feel responsible for their patient’s death, or they may feel isolated due to a lack of support. Nurses new to this field should “feel that their unit acknowledges death as a difficult event and that discussion of death is acceptable in the workplace.” (Lewis, 2013) The most rewarding, and also most difficult, part of being a hospice or palliative care nurse is the ability to be a part of your patient and their family’s life, including their loss, grief, and death. (Wu & Volker, 2012)
I have been a registered nurse at UCLA for 18 months. One particular issue that has captured my attention is the utilization of palliative care in health care. Because nurses are generally at the bedside all the time, they have an important role to play in voicing the importance of its utilization and implementation in the patient’s care.
On Wednesday January 11th, 2017, I was able to observe my weekly clinical meeting at my job. I’m a supervisor at the League Treatment Center which is a Day Habilitation program in Brooklyn, NY. We serve almost 100 individuals in Day Habilitation 1 with intellectual disabilities. Our program caters to the challenging behaviors that an individual may display. We work above and beyond to decrease challenging behavior while increasing independence in multiple areas that the individual may need improvement in.
Nursing is more than merely a job, an occupation, or a career; it is a vocation, a calling, a frame of mind and heart. As a nurse, one must value the general good of others over his own. He must devote of himself nobly to ensure the well-being of his patient. However, today’s well-recognized nurses are notably different from nurses of the recent past. Service is the core of the nursing profession, and the essential evolution of the vocation reflects the ever-changing needs of the diverse patient population that it serves. As a profession, nursing has evolved progressively, particularly in its modernization throughout the past two centuries with the influence of Florence Nightingale. The field of nursing continues to grow and diversify even today, as nurses receive greater medical credibility and repute, as its minority representations
Patient and/or their family members can voice any questions or concerns they may have with the nurses. With reports given at the bedside in the presence of the patient and family, they will know what to expect regarding their plan of care. When patients feel safe, patient satisfaction with the hospital will increase.