I am a med-surg RN currently seeking work in the hospice field. In the interim, I've been reading the books posted in the stickies. This semester, I'm taking a medical anthropology course and we're now talking about cultural considerations as respects the dying process. I've had a handful of experiences with comfort care and hospice patients in the hospital, but am seeking additional input from hospice nurses and aides who have some years on me.
Specifically, I'm interested in learning more about some of the things I've heard and seen - i.e., why some believe you have to open the window as death approaches, beliefs about how emotion is expressed by family members, special objects (of all religious types), and figures and people the patient sees / talks to / speaks about.
If anyone has experiences they would like to share, I would be so grateful! I have a simple questionaire (four questions!) that I can PM or e-mail to any interested parties. NO patient identifiers wanted or needed, obviously, and you are welcome to remain anonymous.
Thank you all! I will be working on this project until Thanksgiving (2011) and welcome any PMs or questions.