Welcome To The Club

Many years ago, before starting nursing school, I never had anything to do with the medical field. I always thought that I’d be squeamish at blood and wouldn’t be able to handle a crisis situation. When we started our clinical program at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital school of nursing, we had to wear a specific… Continue reading Welcome To The Club

Courage

I can’t tell you what I am thinking because I know I will cry I am not supposed to cry. Stoic. Steely. Keeping my emotions in check. They belong in my bag.. tucked away with my stethoscope. But, as I see you there… struggling. Your body so tired from the fight. Your spirit heavy with… Continue reading Courage

Untitled

Nursing is the most unique of professions. It is done not just by what one is taught in school, but, the tidbits learned through years of experience. There is an intuition that cannot be explained but is almost always spot on. We nurses are a different breed. We run towards situations as others run away.… Continue reading Untitled

When It Becomes A Memory

A moment becomes a memory just that quickly. The people that we see everyday can fade from our lives long before we are ever ready for it. The shock value of losing someone special is normally followed by a wave of regret, grief and sorrow. Regret is a bitter ghost of a reminder of a… Continue reading When It Becomes A Memory

Hidden Hero

I have to share a little secret. I try to stifle it down and silence it, but, it doesn’t always work. It’s something that is so hard to say that I hear my inner voice saying it and am aghast. That just can’t be. You see, sometimes, this hospice nursing thing stinks. It’s hard. It’s… Continue reading Hidden Hero

Lucky

I knew you were dying before I ever laid eyes on you. Arguably, everyone is dying, but, you were really dying. I am a hospice nurse, it’s part of the job description. You see, I play the part of the nurse and you play the part of the patient. That doesn’t make this any easier… Continue reading Lucky

Past Passed

The days are frantic and busy. There are times when it almost feels like your feet are stuck in quicksand – running as fast as I can but, it feels like nothing is getting done. In the midst of it all, the phone never stops. The bings, the ringing, the emails – it seems to… Continue reading Past Passed

The Most Vital of Signs

As nurses, we are taught to be number lovers. Blood pressure, pulse, weight, height, time of last meal, distance ambulated….you get my drift… It is one of our chosen methods of communication… Listen to a nurse giving report… it’s a complex word soup of stats, values and findings. For hospice nurses, it’s a tiny bit… Continue reading The Most Vital of Signs

Demystifying Death

The actual moment of death… the second that the heart, after years of repeatedly doing the same rhythmic movement, stops. The silence. The final breath… this can vary… as sometimes, it can be abrupt and just as regularly as one is breathing, suddenly, they stop. There could have been some warning signs – some pauses….which… Continue reading Demystifying Death

The Final Moments

She lays there… here eyes dancing between slightly open and closed… her breaths…much more pronounced now…it’s almost as if her whole body becomes a party to each deep inhale… her chest rises, but, so does her abdomen, but curiously not in harmony… her skin is sallow has taken on a waxy appearance…her cheeks are sunken…her… Continue reading The Final Moments