Blogging Hospice Care
Nurses write about the bond they develop caring for their hospice patients.
Hospice care has become mainstream, but many physicians still have trouble with making the switch from treatment to palliative care for a fatal disease. In many cases it’s the nurse or the family that needs to push the request, and in order to do so we must be well informed about the options available. Ethical issues abound concerning treatment or lack of it, and often family members each need to have their say. Living wills should be the answer, but how many go to the trouble of making one out?
http://pallimed.org is a site targeted for healthcare professionals. It begins with the premise that readers are professionals in the field with an understanding of the literature, so it proposes to review current medical and end-of-life research with a focus on publications other than the major palliative care journals. Written by physicians in the field, it welcomes reader comments.
www.hospiceblog.org is a factual site with information on many of the issues that surround hospice topics. Also written for professionals in the field, it focuses less on the spiritual and more on the business end such as finances, state of the industry, how to choose a hospice, and why it all matters.
Maybe what you’re really looking for is a more personal narrative of hospice care, and for that I’ll refer you to www.deathmaiden.blogspot.com. This hospice nurse writes beautifully about her patients and we’re reminded of the bond that nurses develop while caring for their patients. After all, if facing death doesn’t help us form an appreciation for what’s really important, what will?
Finally, I feel the need to lighten the mood, so I’m going to send you to two additional sites, although maybe this will just prove that I have a wicked sense of humor. You can predict your time of death and see just how many seconds you have left to waste at www.deathclock.com. It made me want to set my alarm clock just a little earlier so that I might catch a sunrise. And Oscar the hospice cat has correctly predicted the death of 25 patients. He seemingly has a better ability to do this than the staff working there, and if you’d like to know more about Oscar you can do a Google search for Oscar the hospice cat. But don’t waste too many of those precious seconds doing it.
Christine Contillo RN, BSN, has worked as a nurse since 1979, and has written extensively for various nursing publications as well as the New York Times.
This article is from workingnurse.com.