Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Do not stand at my grave and weep........

That line comes from a song I used to sing in High school."In Memoriam"..and it comes to mind every so often when I'm doing what I do.

Just a reflection....I spent today taking care of a resident who is approaching end of life. And upon my arrival to assess her, I found myself encountering a hospice aide. Wow...I thought I was a good CNA. this aide was there for about 2 hours in a shift, cruising through, did AM care, helped me think of ways to break her 102 degree fever(aside from the g-tube tylenol)...we did cold compressess, mouthcare, fan on back....the aide helped me turn her, helped me find another pressure sore developing on a foot, helped me assess areas that I would have had a tough time doing by myself.
She also talked to the family, helped me finish things up. Then the hospice nurse, she was focused....when we started talking, I mentioned that she already had a order for meds to help congestion, meds for pain sublingual, and was on top of each thing the nurse asked....
Then the family and I talked while I helped turn her, and gave her mouthcare, etc. I'm reminded that, when I'm in the situation at the end of my life, give me my dignity. A drop of water, medication to keep me comfortable, treat my symptoms, but let me die gracefully.

Like a flower slow to open,
this life will soon be done.
my spirit will be soaring,
for the race I finally have won.

I'm headed home to eden,
No pain can find me now.
Sunshine always upon me,
without a single dark cloud.

I will be with you in the dew,
the life I've left behind.
Never forget who I am,
and I'll always be alive in your mind.

Hug your loved ones tighter today....and give kind care to whoever you encounter....and to my fellow student nurses(never forget that the care you give is watched by EVERYONE related to the patient!)


overactive-imagination said...

Good point made at the end there, they are always watching. So true.
I loved the poem, almost made me cry.

artillerywifecq said...

I recently did an out rotation during nursing school to an inpatient hospice center near the school. I absolutely fell in love with the concept and applications. I am a huge fan of patient advocacy and death with dignity. I as immensely impressed with the nurses and the doctors and other staff. The care was holistic and compassionate, something I see lacking in med-surg sometimes.