Hospice Care: “A Profound Impact On Me”
By: Diane Dearden
Many years ago my grandmother was on hospice care. I stopped to visit her in her final days. Present were my mom and her three sisters, as well as the hospice nurse. I remember one of my aunts asking the hospice nurse “how can you do this day in and out, working with people that are dying?” She quietly and quickly answered, “some people help bring people into this world and others help people leave this world.” This had a profound impact on me. I consider it the pivotal moment when I really made the decision to pursue nursing as a career.
Many years have gone by and I still have never forgotten the words of this wise hospice nurse. I have come to learn that life truly does go full circle. I have had the opportunity to work in several areas of nursing over my career but I have to say that for me there is nothing more rewarding than hospice care.
Working with my patients, their families, and their loved ones, during their final stages of life, is a blessing I cherish every day. They have helped me to learn that life truly is a journey and we need to enjoy every moment.
Three Important Lessons About Hospice Care
I have learned many other lessons during my years in the field, but there are three things in particular, that I often share with others regarding hospice care:
First, (assuming someone meets the criteria for hospice care) you can never sign onto hospice care too soon. Why? Hospice is about helping with the physical, emotional and spiritual needs for the patient and their family. Establishing this relationship of trust between the hospice team, the patient, and their family, sooner rather than later, allows the hospice team to be a greater support when the end of life comes.
Second, because we are dealing with the end of life, there are no “do overs” in hospice. It needs to be right the first time!
Third, choice. There are over 100 hospice agencies in the Salt Lake Valley to choose from. They are all reimbursed the same, and may have other similar characteristics. The difference is in the care. At Brighton Home health and Hospice, we pride ourselves in the care that we provide, and this is how we differentiate ourselves.
I LOVE the company I work for. They value their employees and value patient care. As a hospice care nurse, this is of utmost importance to me. Brighton provides us with whatever we need to deliver the best care to our patients.
Dr. Seuss once said: “Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it has happened.” I love life, but with life comes death. We need to treasure every moment and make memories that we can smile about forever. I am so grateful to be one of those who helps others to “leave this world”.