Sunday, March 4, 2012

Duh, or maybe A-Ha?

First, to Daryl, I took off the WV :)....


This is going to probably sound silly. But yet, here it is.
I 've been working now at the Hospice facility for just about a month, on the inpatient side, and soon to go to the outpatient side. (I get to have the experience of both. It's a good thing).
Today I kind of had a rough moment. I wasn't working or anything, but I was checking my voice mail thingy for work, and well. Most of the patient's that I have interacted with for the last 3 weeks are currently in the process of dying.
Duh, you say. I do, after all, work for hospice. They are what we refer to as "actively dying", meaning, that they will probably be gone within the next 24 hours.
It hit me today.
NONE of my patients are ever going to get better. None of them. Thats the whole point.
I knew this. I did. And I am still totally game for this job. I actually really like the organization, and the whole concept of Hospice care. And I'm good at it. I've been good with the death and dying for most of my nursing career thus far.
But, being a hospital nurse, of course, our main goal is usually to save people and have the happy ending, blah blah blah. Some we didn't save. Some people, dying and going to a better place *is* the happy ending. And as a hospital nurse, I had the people getting better mixed in with the people who died.
I just have people dying.
And I found myself, crying in the grocery store over this epiphany. Not wailing and gnashing of teeth. I just had my moment. And then I realized what a big adjustment my brain just made, and accepted.
Because I am a hospice nurse....


Daryl said...

thank you

and thank you again for being a hospice nurse ... when my mom was in hospital the last time and we invoked her DNR a social worker came to talk to my sister and I. She explained that my mom would need to be moved from the ICU to a ward ... its the way things are done there when a DNR is in place. She offered us some advice .. move mom to a hospice. She recommended a place, spoke with them on our behalf and arranged for an ambulance. It was a small facility, clean, well maintained .. mom was given a room, attended by nurses who set up a morphine IV and generally they made sure she was as comfortable as she could be .. then they turned to us .. they wanted us to be as comfortable as possible too because they knew she had but a few hours to live and they wanted them to be as easy as possible for us all.

When you told me of your new job my heart was filled with happiness for any who you would come to care for but it was also filled with .. not pain but an ache because I knew what you would be facing and while I know you are a consummate professional, I also know you have a huge caring heart.

Hugs to you my friend, thank you for helping people and their families through what can be a very emotional painful experience.

sybil law said...

Definitely a Duh and an A=Ha moment.

It's definitely got to be a hard job, but I'm glad you're there there.