Listening with your heart and soul
by Tiffany Deitz, HPCCR Clinical Care Coordinator
A lot of people ask what it’s like to be a hospice nurse. I can truly say it’s a calling and not a career. I honestly didn’t think I could do it. I stayed PRN (working on an “as needed” basis) at my previous job just in case I wanted to go back. But after the first few weeks, there was no turning back. I get to meet so many people near the end of their lives. Some are bitter, angry, and resentful for their cancer or terminal diagnosis. Others are comfortable with it and take each day with stride and appreciation. I see people at their worst, best, and in between. I treat each person with respect, compassion, and heart.
Last week, when I asked a patient if there was anything else I could do for her, she replied, “Pray that I get through this with my dignity.” I held her hand and told her that I would. A few months ago, I saw a patient who was my age. She said that I looked familiar and we realized we went to elementary school together. The sad part was she had four children and I have two. Her dying wish was to see her daughter graduate this month. She passed away last month so she didn’t get to. I wondered why I got to see my daughter graduate in January and she didn’t. I wondered why she was gone so soon and I’m still standing. Why God chooses to take one over another?
Teaching caregivers how to care for their loved ones empowers them to be a part of their care. Seeing them have confidence to give medications, turn and reposition, change briefs, and provide care is encouraging. This job allows me to make a difference every day. It is spiritual, emotional, and clinical.
I try to put myself in other people’s shoes, to see what they are going through from their perspective. The key is listening with your heart and soul. I love my job because I have the opportunity to touch so many lives.Explore posts in the same categories: advocacy, awareness, hospice, spiritual care comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.