Accusing Hospice

by jeastridge jeastridge, BSN, RN (Trusted Brand)

Specializes in Faith Community Nurse (FCN).

Accusing Hospice is a story about an encounter between a hospice nurse and a family dealing with the impending loss of their loved one. It describes the importance of allowing for and addressing hard questions.

You are reading page 3 of Accusing Hospice. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

I am a hospice RN and do a fair amount of teaching concerning the dying process and the lack of need for food, drink and iv fluids. Often the family member becomes angry and disbelieving about this. I guess it is easier to be angry than to accept your loved one is really going to die and soon. 😥

I don't think that "easier" is the best way to interpret the family member's anger. To me, it is the stage they are at. Sometimes they don't get past it and that is unfortunate and often makes the overall situation harder to work with, but I see their anger as part of a normal range of human emotions and I make sure to tell them this. Acknowledging and accepting the validity of their current state of emotions helps to create an atmosphere of trust and understanding, and that helps me to work with them and hopefully help them to move on in their grieving.

Red Kryptonite

Red Kryptonite

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience. 2,212 Posts

Anger is one of the stages of grief.....

Samantha Harris

Samantha Harris

Specializes in Post-Surgical, Med-Surg, Travel, Agency. 1 Article; 18 Posts

That was lovely. Thank you for posting. **Sniff**



1,763 Posts

This was beautiful.



5 Posts

It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this touching story.

cjcsoon2bnp, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Nursing. 8 Articles; 1,156 Posts

You make a good point. I did not include much background in this story, but I knew the family well and knew that they were Christians. It is critical that as professional nurses, we listen carefully and always show the upmost respect for religious beliefs or choices not to have religious beliefs. You are so right--the family is the one to introduce religion. Our job is to discern where they are coming from and support them right where they are--not where we are. Thank you for your important observation.

This is a great story, your message and choice of language created a really solid picture, at least in my mind. I agree with the user who suggested that it must be the family who brings up religion in these situations and I can appreciate that you were able to help them work through this with the use of their religion and beliefs (whether you shared those beliefs or not). I have worked with families of dying patients and when religion comes up I do my best to help support them using their belief symptom even if it is not one that I share.

!Chris :specs: