I am a Rn with almost 30 years in; a couple of weeks ago I floated to another unit, leaving my floor short. Got a crappy assignment of course. Spent the day running, no time to chart, demanding families, the whole shebang. I was giving meds to a patient who was talking to his son. He was 84, came in with osteomyelitis, put on vanco, sent to a SNF. Back in Acute Renal Failure. Needed "temporary" HD, except his kidneys were not responding. As I'm busy scanning meds, racing to move on, I hear fragments of the conversation. This man was telling his son, he had had enough. He was bone tired, he was ready to "go home". His son was agreeing. I had to take a deep breath. Stop what I was doing, accept this was going to be another 14 hour day. I talked to him, told him that this was his choice. HD was his decision. He was doing it for his kids. I asked his son to call the family, called the doc and cancelled his HD for the morning, got a palliative care consult. I believe he went home with Hospice two days later. But holding this mans hand while he was crying. A man who thought he had no options but to accept all the invasive treatments. It was a massive wake up call to me. I'm not there to perform tasks. I was there for just this. I left late, tired, thirsty, hungry that night. But I did knowing I did something for a man who really needed my help. It made it worthwhile.