Monday, July 16, 2012

A day in the life of a Hospice Nurse...

I'm going to tell you a little story about what happened today.
I've been very busy lately helping out by doing nursing visits for Hospice.  Most of the time, I really enjoy visiting my patients, comforting their families and it really makes me feel like I'm making a difference in someone's life.  Believe it or not, there are lots of moments that actually make me laugh, some that make me cry, and some that leave me shaking my head. Today was one of those moments that at first, I had to shake my head but then the situation struck me as funny because I can't believe the way it happened. 
Today, I go to see one of my patients who is very close to dying.  Her daughter comes home from work and asks me if I think she should call her daughters and I tell her that yes, we are getting close, and she probably should call them.  Also in the home is a man, some family member - but I'm not sure really who he is.  I assume he works from home because he has been there the last few times I've visited, but I do not ask because how exactly do I say "Who are you and what are you doing here during the day?"
A little time goes by, the granddaughters arrive to say their goodbyes, and very shortly thereafter, my patient passes.
I start attending to all the little details that are involved after a person dies at home on Hospice.  I'm in the kitchen writing my note when the man comes up to me and asks me, "How's she doing?"
What?  I look at him like, What?  And he asks me again,  "How's she doing?"  In that awkward moment I realize NOBODY TOLD HIM that the lady has died!
So, I let him know that she is gone and he wants to know when. I have to tell him, oh, about a half an hour ago.
So, the day kind of went downhill after that....


  1. Oh, wow. Although I must say, when you're in the middle of that it is easy to forget about people -- I know this from personal experience. :( I don't think I realized you worked with are a strong, strong person!!

  2. families. they are all so different.

    the work you do is so very awesome! I loved our hospice nurse. she taught me so much. It was such a comfort to have have her to talk to.

    You are such a blessing.

  3. Oh my! It is certainly a true gift to be a hospice nurse and you make the perfect one! You are all angels!