End Of Life Issues---The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly - page 4

If I ever become a hospice nurse (which is what I've decided I want to be when I grow up), the varied experiences I'm collecting in long-term care should stand me in good stead. Right now I have... Read More

  1. by   TDub
    Quote from CT Pixie
    I work LTC and I, too, cringe at the things we are supposed to do to these poor souls who want nothing more than to be set free.

    I am of the thinking, that just because we CAN make people live longer and longer doesn't mean we SHOULD! I see no benefit of living to see 99 if my mind and body are just a shell that houses my being, with no quality of life, I'd rather be in the better place.

    I promise you, if my family EVER did to me what I see some families do to those they love, (tube feeds, full codes, treat at all costs, force feed meds/food etc) I will come back from the afterlife with a vengance and haunt them to the very end.

    The hospice nurses who come to my facility are always trying to get me to go work hospice for their company, I have the "knack" they say. Hospice has always been an area i'd love to try.
    Go for it! We always have room for one more good nurse.
  2. by   No Stars In My Eyes
    Great blog going on here. I've worked so many hospice cases and I feel so very blessed being able to take this walk with patients and families. I've had family members say "What should we/can I do NOW?", looking for some guidance for medical interventions......I always say "Talk to her/him. Even if you don't think they can't hear or understand. Talk about shared experiences/memories. Tell them things you never felt comfortable about saying, like what he/she has meant to you in your life. Tell them you love them. Tell them you'll miss them, but that you will be okay and that it's OK to let go." At first, they may be dismayed when you say that to a family member; but I can't tell you how many people have told me later they were so thankful for that advice.If they are religious it's okay to remind both patient and family that Jesus is standing beside the still waters and He is holding out His hand, and it's likely that_________(previously deceased loved one) is there with Him. I also will sometimes say that dying is the easiest thing they will ever do, it's just getting there that is difficult. I'll tell the family that our bodies are built to try to survive and that what might be seen from the outside as suffering is the body doing what it is supposed to do, but there is at some point for the patient a kind of mental disconnect from what the body is going through as it is winding down and shutting down. Since I live in the Bible-belt, there isn't alot of resistance to spiritual stuff, and I have a little ritual I do with a patient going through the bodily struggle of fighting to keep living; I say the Lord"s Prayer and the Twenty-third Psalm into the patient's ear, and sing a verse, quietly, of "I Come To The Garden Alone". Believe it or not the patient passes within 5-10 minutes of that! Some of my co-workers say they hope I will be on-duty when "the time comes". I sometimes tell the patient that I will hold their hand on this side until Jesus takes their hand on the other side. I am so blessed by this work and I know some folks would think I'm nuts to say this, but I love that God has given me such inner peace about death and dying, and I love when I can be the one to accompany someone on this part of their lifes journey..................For myself, I'm with mariehas4kids; I want to tatoo DNR on my chest along wiyh a notary-public's seal and my doc's signature!!and the words:" I MEAN IT!"
  3. by   thompd01
    End of life is a very touchy subject. All families handle it differently. As stated in the blog, some families will hold on despite the consequences to the family member dieing. Other families are realistic and don't want their family member's to suffer. Its hard to say in some situations when enough is enough. The bottom line unfortunately is when a person's life gets to this point it is truly in the hands of the family or caregivers as to how far medical care will go.

    I feel this is sad. If a patient has an advanced directive, it is clearly written what that person wanted and in some situations is "sent to the waste side." Therefore, I have learned it is very important to choose carefully who is in charge of you when you are unable to communicate. So your wishes are cared through.
  4. by   GitanoRN
    enlightening article, once again "viva las viejas" you out shine yourself......aloha~