When It Won’t Gel

When I feel the urge to blog, it normally will happen in response to some idea swirling around. The problem with that is, as anyone who knows me, my brain is a never ending train of thoughts. I may be showing my age, but, it’s like the VH1 show, Pop Up Videos, when the bubbles would just go non stop. My mind is like a tornado of ideas and thoughts.

So, I have started and erased this particular blog post a few times. It just never felt like it was coming together like I wanted. I think if I delete another post, WordPress will ban me. With that in mind, this blog will be a bit different.

These are random thoughts about nursing and hospice that I have noticed tend to surface more often than not.

Welcome to my brain… hang on tight

Hospice workers tend to be the forgotten frontline workers. Home Health gets a fair share of attention, but, we hospice folk are never the topic of talk.

When a patient goes from continent to incontinent, their feelings of hurt, embarrassment and frustration seem to echo within me.

Yes, sometimes, I do forget to order supplies. Thank God my trunk is a hospice nurse’s dream.

Sometimes, I have to put on my best act because if I am tired or sad, I don’t think it’s fair that my patients and families know that. Look out, Hollywood.

This job is really really really hard. More so emotional and mental. Yes, I am not spending 12 hours on my feet but, when I get home, the exhaustion has permeated my soul.

No, I don’t like to disimpact. I will always do whatever my patient needs, but, I have never and will never look forward to that task.

Yes, I do miss the adrenaline of the hospital.

Hospice is a branch of nursing that is so elusive and difficult to explain. In any one day, I can go from nurse, to pharmacist, to problem solver to aide.

I tend to be very observant. I know when you are putting on a brave front and when you need me to show a bit of tough love.

No, the doctor that you think is so great, isn’t. If I have reached out multiple times for an order and heard nothing but crickets, it makes me look like I have dropped the ball.

Doctors!!! Just because a patient chooses hospice, it doesn’t mean that you have failed. If you could just move past your archaic belief that hospice is Morphine and death, you would see that your patient might actually live a bit longer and more comfortably than if they chose curative treatments.

I have imagined myself in my patient’s situation multiple times. How would I feel about death ringing my bell? Would I be as brave as some of they are?

Yes, I fear death. Yes, I am scared of the what if’s.

I am not great with detachment or boundaries. I think about certain patients or situations very often. No matter how long it has been, I feel the sting of the pain as if it has just happened.

Apologies. We get apologized to for so many things – for being incontinent or for making a mess, for not being able to accomplish a task or needing extra help. Please know that there are very few situations that warrant this. It is my honor to care for you in a dignified and caring manner.

The greatest gift that I can get is a patient or family who utters a simple thank you. I need nothing physical because appreciation is a soul changing gift.

I am going to ask how you met your spouse, or what your job was or maybe what your favorite ice cream is. You aren’t just a diagnosis to me. I want to know as much as I can about you.

You might think hospice is a lonely gig. But, I am blessed to work with the most phenomenal coworkers. They are my rocks. They are my confessionals. They are my brains.

I can’t promise I will be in hospice for the rest of my career, but, I can say that there hasn’t been another type of nursing that has challenged me more emotional, mentally or spiritually.

Yes, I love it when you have pets. Yes, I will bring them treats.

I worry very often if I am doing a good enough job. Am I present enough? Have I given the right advice? Did I forget something? Does what I say help?

When you reach to grab my hand… words fail me.

Feeling like I have helped in some way, be it ever so tiny, makes the most difficult so worth it.

Caring for a patient, caring for their families will always be an honor beyond words.

By Helen Haddick BSN RN CHPN

RN who has just left critical care in the hospital for hospice. Join me for my journey Please feel free to leave comments and like if you enjoy this

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