Most of my posts are all about the emotions involved with hospice but, this time I thought I would lighten the mood a bit.
Life as a home based hospice nurse is full of lots of adventures. Any home health provider will have a colorful array of stories, tips and advice. I’ve amassed a few of my own… so, here goes, unleashing my vault of funnies and advice.
Always keep a box of tissues in your car. They work for so many things… emotions, colds, crumpling up and ripping when stressed..
Your glovebox should look like a pharmacy… Advil for the body aches, Excedrine for the headaches, Tums for the belly aches and directions to the wine store for the life aches.
Using the restroom at a patient’s house isn’t a wise idea… What if your belly isn’t happy with you? What if the toilet clogs? What if they run out of TP? How embarrassing would it be to peek your head out and ask if they could spare another square? Yikes
Always know where the best bathrooms are on the road. Believe it or not, McDonald’s has some pretty clean rest rooms. I’m lovin it.
If you find your belly growling and think you might need to toot but won’t make it out of the patient’s room, cough loudly and use scented hand sanitizer lol.
Now, some families think they have to feed us. But, if you take a look at the food and you would rather eat mud, ask for it to go. They aren’t offended and you don’t get food poisoning
Sometimes, there is that family member or friend that tries to pry to hard into your personal life, simply tell them you are a nurse and have no life.
Eating on the road isn’t easy and can be super not good for the waistline. If I was more together, I could say I pack lunch, but, I don’t. My advise? Gas station food will run through you faster than a catfished Tinder date.
Buy a vehicle with heated seats. Your back will stop screaming at you as much. But, be careful… too much heat could lead to swampy bootie. Imagine walking into the cold w that? Yikes. Everything in measured amounts.
Be mindful of where you park. Putting your foot down as you get out of your car into a giant puddle while wearing sneakers? Oh em gee! Then, your poor tootsies are raisins in your socks all day! Talk about one way to make me a total grump.
Talking about socks, compression socks to the knees are our friends! Not only do they help with circulation, but, help prevent vicious flea and all sorts of other creepy crawler bites if you go into a house that might belong on Hoarders.
If you do go into a house like that and you can’t find a place to sit, DON’T move anything. You never know what could start an avalanche. Also, you never know what you will uncover… Hoffa is still missing, just saying.
Rolling up to a home while you are either head banging with metal or being a g with rap is perfectly acceptable. But, leave your inner Marilyn Manson in the car. Creeping out the patients isn’t in the job description.
Sometimes, being on the go, it is inevitable that you spill something or stain your scrubs. Not all of us are wise enough to have a Tide pen, but, if you don’t, make up some super awesome story around the stain. Helped to save a dying unicorn and that’s why you have a blood (maybe ketchup) stain on your scrub top.
We all need breaks during the day. Some folks might pull over and do some breathing exercises. Personally, I would rather take some time and breathe in the Target air.
Keep your badge handy, especially if you are friends w the gas pedal. I may or may not have flashed it to get out of a ticket. I may or may not have been heading to a patient.
Wine isn’t allowed during our workdays. However, chocolate and profanities, while alone or on the phone with a sympathetic coworker, totally are.
I will never know what it feels like to be a superhero. But, when I have helped a patient and their family in a way only a nurse can, I walk out wanting to rip my scrub top to reveal the S on my chest.
There are many many kinds of love. You love your spouse and your kids. But, the love felt for hospice can’t ever be described. I feel so fortunate to do what I do. Being part of this profession is such a profound gift.
Have more tips, suggestions and thoughts? Drop a line in the comment box!