This is not a pleasant topic,but one I know quite a bit about.I have been a nurse since 1966. I worked in several hospitals as a licensed practical nurse before going back to school to become a registered nurse. I re-married, graduated, and took my state boards in July of 1977.I worked as an RN,in postpartum,labor and delivery,nursery,adult,child psychiatry,post- traumatic stress unit,general medicine,drug and alcohol unit,general medicine,Neonatal intensive care unit, research study coordinator and for the last twelve years as a hospice nurse.(My favorite job).
I noticed early in my career, most doctors and nurses avoided spending much time with dying patients.I understand they were more comfortable with patients who were going to make it.Not with the patients who were terminal.I gravitated toward those patients. I was drawn to them as a moth to a flame.I could feel their loneliness,pain and fear of the unknown. These were people who needed attention as much as the critical patients.hence I found Hospice and knew I had found my niche.
What a privilege to be trusted to be with a family or someone at the end of their life and to be able to help the patient and their family through a very difficult time. To answer questions and help the patient and the family to let go.
No one wants a loved one to die.It is hard for the family or the patient to decide to stop treatment and stop medications,even when they are no longer working.it helps to talk to someone who has been through the same thing and has the knowledge to answer questions, tell them what to expect, or find the answers they ask.
I retired a few years ago with work related injuries.I miss my patients and their families. Maybe when I have fewer financial problems I can visit hospice patients and bring them and their very stressed families some comfort.No it is never easy to let go or realize it is time to let go of your on needs and allow a loved one to die with dignity.