Honoring the Hospice Nurse

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November is Hospice and Palliative Care month in the U.S.  It is a month to recognize those caring for dying patients and their families.  I have such admiration for hospice nurses.  I have heard many times it takes a special kind of nurse to work with babies, but I think the same can be said of a hospice nurse.

In this month’s nurse feature, I interviewed Patty, a native New Yorker.  She, like many New Yorkers (including my family), migrated to Florida many years ago.  I worked with Patty when I was a new grad.  I looked up to her and her skill-she was smart, organized, and confident-all the qualities I admired and wanted to emulate as a nurse.

Where are you from?

I am from Colonie, NY. It is a suburb of Albany, NY.

In what area of nursing do you work?

Presently I am a Hospice Nurse (for 6 years)

What inspired you to become a nurse?

My great Aunt was an RN back in the 50’s and my mother would take me to visit her at the hospital. She was a very professional RN, in Charge of a whole floor. Her appearance was impeccable.  She had a starched white cap on her neatly pinned up hair, a starched white uniform with 3/4 sleeves and the hem below her knees, white hose and polished white clinic shoes with a small heel.  She always stood very straight with her shoulders back and when she walked, she walked with a purpose in mind.  Back then there were “wards.”  These were multi-bed large rooms with curtains dividing the beds for privacy. I remember watching her walk into the room.  All the patients were so glad to see her. She would attend to each one with kindness and skill and when she was finished, the patients were so grateful and felt so much better. I knew at a very young age that was what I wanted to do, care for people and become an Registered Nurse like her.

What advice would you give to a new nurse?

Always remember that you are taking care of someone’s loved one and you must do your very best always. Also, realize that your patients and their family are scared, hurting and worried. Don’t take unpleasant actions or words from them personally.

What advice would you give to a tired (burned out) nurse?

Change to another area of nursing. Sometimes a fresh new transfer can do wonders. Nursing is a wonderful profession and you can bring knowledge and expertise to another area that needs you. Seriously, try this you may like your new area!

What do you do in your spare time?

I make belly bands, diapers, toys, chew toys and blankets for animal rescues. I belong to .  We are all over the world but very active in the USA.  Each adoptive pet gets a homemade blanket before they get adopted so when they adopt their human, the transition to their new home is smoother and less stressful.  I also make name cards for newborn cribs when I’m not too busy with WIL.

Thanks for sharing, Patty!!  You are a shining example of a nurse ❤  For those of you contemplating hospice nursing, check out my interview with Patty for Mighty nurse……

Coffee Talk with a Mighty Nurse: Hospice Nursing

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Dinner With a Nurse

img_0348My boyfriend is an engineer which means he knows about as much about the medical profession as I do convolutional codes.  Over dinner the conversation often starts with, “how was your day?”  Most of you can probably relate here.  The non-medical partner talks about the meeting that never ended or the inundation with emails.  When the conversation is then turned to the nurse, an unfiltered play by play is given of the previous shift or memory.  It is a raw recollection that is sometimes neither welcomed nor stomached entirely.  Sometimes it borders on too much information, but it is all in a day’s work for a nurse…..

Dinner With a Nurse