Nursing is the most unique of professions. It is done not just by what one is taught in school, but, the tidbits learned through years of experience. There is an intuition that cannot be explained but is almost always spot on. We nurses are a … Continue reading
A moment becomes a memory just that quickly. The people that we see everyday can fade from our lives long before we are ever ready for it. The shock value of losing someone special is normally followed by a wave of regret, grief and sorrow. … Continue reading When It Becomes A Memory
I have to share a little secret. I try to stifle it down and silence it, but, it doesn’t always work. It’s something that is so hard to say that I hear my inner voice saying it and am aghast. That just can’t be. You … Continue reading Hidden Hero
I knew you were dying before I ever laid eyes on you. Arguably, everyone is dying, but, you were really dying. I am a hospice nurse, it’s part of the job description. You see, I play the part of the nurse and you play the … Continue reading Lucky
The days are frantic and busy. There are times when it almost feels like your feet are stuck in quicksand – running as fast as I can but, it feels like nothing is getting done. In the midst of it all, the phone never stops. … Continue reading Past Passed
As nurses, we are taught to be number lovers. Blood pressure, pulse, weight, height, time of last meal, distance ambulated….you get my drift… It is one of our chosen methods of communication… Listen to a nurse giving report… it’s a complex word soup of stats, … Continue reading The Most Vital of Signs
The actual moment of death… the second that the heart, after years of repeatedly doing the same rhythmic movement, stops. The silence. The final breath… this can vary… as sometimes, it can be abrupt and just as regularly as one is breathing, suddenly, they stop. … Continue reading Demystifying Death
She lays there… here eyes dancing between slightly open and closed… her breaths…much more pronounced now…it’s almost as if her whole body becomes a party to each deep inhale… her chest rises, but, so does her abdomen, but curiously not in harmony… her skin is … Continue reading The Final Moments
You know that feeling, it’s the feeling of being in a room and all eyes are on you. You are expected to know every answer. You are expected to solve every problem. You should have the right words to comfort. You need to be able … Continue reading Can Do
It’s the dawn of another Nurse’s Week. I remember working in the hospitals and my coworkers and I would try to guess what cheesy gift we would get. Would it be a branded tumbler? An umbrella with the hospital logo? Maybe it would be a … Continue reading Nurses
The drives between patients often is my own thinking time. The radio is off and as much as those calling and texting, my phone normally lays buzzing away on the passenger’s seat. I need to process what I have done, what I have seen, what … Continue reading How You Feel?
I never claimed to be overly informed about a lot of professions. I don’t know what a grip on a movie set does nor can I explain what happens on an off shore oil rig. One thing I do know, with great detail and accuracy, … Continue reading How Will The Cards Fall?
I can’t tell you how many times you cross my mind during the day. I can’t tell you how I worry about you and your family. I can’t tell you the times I have left our visits with a smile only to turn the corner … Continue reading The Things We Don’t Dare Say
“I know you can’t give a specific timeframe, but”… How I wish I had crystal ball that clued me in on events that have yet to happen…. The end of life is such a profoundly individual experience. Much like the labor of entering this life, … Continue reading Just Not Ready
I have never really stopped to think about the number of patients that have passed through my care over the years. Guessing would do it no justice because even my most hard thought estimate probably wouldn’t even come close. The different types of nursing that … Continue reading Out of sight
On a recent afternoon, I was texting with a former coworker. We had not talked in a while and were playing the catch up game. Talk shifted to my job and how it seems to be the opposite of everything nurses are supposed to do. … Continue reading Mirror
I know that it’s my job I know that it is what I am supposed to do I know that it is the reason I am brought into this situation. My role is that of leader, guide, hand holder, truth teller and comforter. But, sometimes, … Continue reading Blur
The words flow like rivers from both sides of the bed. Words of unspoken feelings and emotions. Sounds that form sentences, which for whatever reason, until this very moment, were held captive. After they have been uttered , eyes will sometimes find their way to … Continue reading The Presence Present
It’s always those end of the day visits.. You know the ones where they are unplanned but you have this overwhelming pull to go The ones where it has been a long day already… you could easily just head home to chart, but, at the … Continue reading Special
Do you ever feel like you aren’t the nurse that others think you are?
“Helen, does she know I am here? Can she hear me?” Questions like this abound when a loved one is close to crossing the vast divide. Tasking me, a simple hospice nurse with providing the answer to such a profound question, is something that always … Continue reading Knocking On The Door