By Victor Montour
Today I’m writing this blog trying to understand why anyone would opt to have an end of life experience full of pain and discomfort. Most of us in hospice care have been drawn to do this type of work by a higher power you could say. I would call it a calling… a calling to give back to those who need us the most.
Over the last couple of months I have had the pleasure of meeting a family who are in the middle of the end of life journey. I met with the family and the patient to discuss how the hospice benefit works and the services that can be expected. During our meeting I was able to hear the views of the patient and the family, views that clearly paint a picture of dislike of modern medicine and the modern pharmaceutical treatments available today.
Now, as a nurse it is not my place to judge someone or force my views, beliefs or opinions onto anyone who has a different approach to their healthcare. My philosophy about nursing is to meet the patient where they are and help them achieve the healthcare goals they have for themselves. Sometimes, just sometimes the cures and treatments of modern medicine are put on the back burner so a patient and a family can explore alternative treatments.
So alternative treatment is what this pt and family has opted to do while on the end of life journey. Because Front Range Hospice and all or staff are caring, compassionate and concerned for anyone on the end of life journey, we continued to communicate with the family to provide support and appropriate guidance.
I followed up with the family on average every two weeks. Each and every communication the conversation was the same. The pt is getting weaker, not eating and having more pain. Each week I could hear the stress and uncertainty in the voice of the family. The family has lots of questions about how to care for the patient. After each of the calls and while typing this blog, I get a tear in my eye and it’s hard to swallow.
The family clearly see’s the patients health declining and the care required to care for the patient is increasing. The increase in the care needs has clearly placed an added burden on the family. But, the family is still trying other alternative treatments. Alternative treatment sometimes outweighs the physical, psychological and spiritual support a hospice team could provide for all of them.
So I write this blog still trying to understand why with a heavy heart. Most people think those of us working in hospice have a difficult job and its depressing. Most of us would say no, it’s magical, humbling and most rewarding work we could ever do. So we will be here waiting, ready and willing to accept hospice appropriate patients with open arms
If you would like more information about Front Range Hospice please call 303-957-3101 or 970-776-8080 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch out for our next blog: Thank you, Social Workers!