Meet Heather Meyerend, a hospice nurse who works in South Brooklyn. As such, Heather addresses people’s physical, emotional, psychological and spritual needs when they are most vulnerable.
She sees her work as preparing a patient for the voyage he is about to take, and accompanying him partway down the road. She, like most hospice workers, feels that it is a privilege to spend time with the dying, to be allowed into a person’s life and a family’s life when they are at their rawest and most vulnerable, and when they most need help. Some hospice workers believe that working with the dying is the closest you can get on earth to the presence of God.
Click here to continue reading.
In a recent blog post, Anon456, a former ICU nurse, describes her typical day in the palliative unit. In the midst of paperwork, administration of medicine and providing patient care, Anon456 recognizes what an honor it is to be part of the end-of-life journey.
It’s 0653. I pull up to the hospice unit, clock in, fill my coffee mug, and get my nursing brain printed out. At 0700, I count narcotics and take report on six patients. It’s going to be a busy day, one of those days where I must control the chaos, take the time to support patients, complete as many of the thousand tasks set before me as I can, and be prepared to deal with the unexpected.
I work in a palliative/hospice inpatient unit, a place where patients come when they are in crisis,can’t be cared for at home, or simply have no place else to go. One of my patients today is in indigent man who has no one in the world.We cannot locate his family. We don’t even know his real name. He slipped into a coma yesterday and is non-responsive. We take care of him, call him by the name we think he has, and witness his last hours or days.
Click here to read the full blog post.
According to a recent study, the end-of-life care provided at nights and weekends in the United Kingdom is less than satisfactory. One reason for this is the inadequate number of palliative care specialists available. “There are nowhere near enough palliative care doctors and nurses to provide a 24/7 service across the whole of the UK – we only have 1 palliative care consultant and 5 palliative care nurses per 1000 beds” (http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwxsTMpio).
Is this situation unique to the UK or does it occur elsewhere as well? What is palliative care like where you reside?