Hospice is not a good commodity to offer. For some, it means dying but for us Hospice Nurses it means “actually living”. Its been a year now. My previous company needs to shut down for financial difficulties. Like any other nurses abroad, it was a nightmare! How will I pay my rent, my bills and among other obligations I have. Then a good friend of mine told me about a job as a Hospice Nurse. It was not easy for me. I was and still is afraid of dead people. I don’t even like watching horror films. But LIFE MUST GO ON. It is no longer easy to look for a decent job then. To say it short, I ACCEPTED THE OFFER. I became a HOSPICE NURSE. I wanted to start a Blog regarding life as a Hospice Nurse… It is very much related to Filipino culture as Filipinos are very well known for being hospitable and compassionate. Filipino nurses are able to provide care not only with skills but also with a heart.
The word “hospice” comes from the Latin “hospitium” meaning guesthouse. It was originally described a place of shelter for weary and sick travelers returning from religious pilgrimages. “Dr. Josefina B. Magno, an oncologist whose compassion for a dying patient led to become an early proponent of hospice care in the United States, Philippines-born physician who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s.” Hospice are intended to provide only comfort and palliative treatment. So, please don’t think as an ICU nurse or ER nurse trying to do everything to bring them back. We are there to give them optimum level of comfort and safety. That is the GOAL and we keep it simple like that. I have seen family who was in distraught because of denial and unwillingness to comply with comfort meds who have turned around crying and saying ” Go ahead, do whatever you need to do… I don’t want seeing mom to be in so much pain.. I don’t like seeing dad hurting himself” and when the time comes to see him/her go… she will say, ” Go ahead Mom/Dad. it is ok, we are ok… you can Go Home” . and then she left. in bliss and in peace . I have also felt the pain. the pain of letting go of someone you love, the pain of saying goodbye. But in midst of this dying, we have seen patients who actually lived. They actually smiled and laughed with their families and friends with no tubes attached. They said goodbyes to their family and children. They were able to say sorry; they were able to say thank you to their loved ones. Because they had the TIME in their hands. It is hard and have a call in the middle of the night, hearing ” I think she/he passed. I think she’s/he’s gone”. I applaud the On Call Nurses- Runners who goes miles and miles away to comfort a crying loved one who was left behind. Hospice Nurses are special cause seeing someone living is somewhat easier than being there when someone is actually dying. KUDOS to us, Hospice Nurses!
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