Anyone who has had a loved one taken care of by a Hospice Nurse knows they have witnessed a special kind of caregiver. They are the calm, reassuring presence that guides a patient through their critical last stage of life. They are the caregivers that help patient’s families come to terms with the end of life for their loved ones. Hospice Nurses dedicate their lives to helping people bridge the gap between life and death. Their care helps to ease the fear and pain that comes with this reality. It is no easy task and takes a person of exceptional character to fill this role.
Our Patients Are Never Forgotten
Hospice Nurses have a lasting impact on the families of their patients, and in turn they also carry their patients with them.
Recently one of our Hospice Nurses, Patty Martin, and other Community Nurse staff members paid tribute to a past hospice patient by planting a tree in her memory on what would have been her 60th birthday. Patty had cared for this patient for over a year and feels a lasting connection to her and views this tree as a symbol that even though she is gone, she is not forgotten.
Patty carries a memorial bracelet on her key ring as a daily reminder of her youngest patient who was only 22 years old. Although she only saw him five times, they developed a meaningful connection that will stay with her forever. While speaking with his sister after he had passed they watched as a lady bug flew into the room, and took comfort in this, viewing it as a small sign from him that he was OK.
When asked how she helps families through such a difficult time her response was: “to be present, to let them grieve and listen to their stories or remembrance.”