One of the hardest nursing jobs for non-nurses to get their head around is palliative care. Those outside the healthcare industry often ask “how can you do it?! I could never watch someone die.” But we know that good palliative care is one of the greatest gifts we can give a patient. ABC News shared a great post today in which two hospice nurses discuss working with the dying. It’s a really honest reflection on the dying process, and on how we as nurses are at risk of taking the grief home with us. I particularly liked Lea-Anne saying that she likes to go to the movies by herself in order to have a cry or a laugh out loud. They discuss the importance of talking with their patients, giving them the opportunity to reminisce and reflect. So much of nursing is connecting with the patient.
Most powerful from this article is the closing remark “I really like being able to take away people’s suffering. So that for me is a reward.” I think that sums up the importance of palliative care, and the strength of those nurses who help the most vulnerable. Read the article in full here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-02/life-as-a-palliative-care-nurse/6552838