I worked as a hospice CNA. for thirteen years and during those years I have seen and experience a number of things and I would like to share some of those today.
I loved my job as a hospice CNA. I thought of it a blessed opportunity to be able to try and comfort someone at the end of their life and not only the patients but to their loved ones also I never thought of working in any other area of patient care.
My job includes not only taking care of there daily needs but sometimes I would have to be the counselor a prayer partner a comforter because these people knew there were going to die and some were not prepared and were very afraid.
Sometimes when a couple who have been living together for 40 years and more, and one was dying and leaving their partner and the one that was going to be left was at a lost., as it seems impossible to live without them.
And then there are children dying and leaving their parents, I think this is the hardest situation to deal with, How do you comfort a mother who has lost her child? What can you say to her that will give her peace?
Sometimes you can only hug and hold her while she cries her heart out. As a mother myself, I don’t think anything could comfort me. And I would not want to go through that.
Then there are those patients who are suffering so much and there is nothing you can do. In this situation, I tend to feel helpless.
Taking care of these patients could be heartbreaking and sometimes I had to muster up some strength to keep my emotions in check
There are patient in the final stages of cancer these patients seem to be in the worst pain and nothing seems able to ease the pain and discomfort, sometimes they are in so much pain there is nothing to do but to administer strong medication to assist them to sleep.
Another terrible disease is Lou Gehrig’s disease(ALS) The nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control movement stop functioning. The condition leads to paralysis, and patients eventually cannot breathe or swallow on their own
There was this beautiful young woman married with two daughters ages of about 10 and 8 she had contracted the disease she could not move on her own or talk she could only look at you she could not make her needs to be known
You would have to be wondering if was she in pain was she comfortable there was no facial expression I remember one day I went to check on her and I removed her bed covers to check if she needed changing and I saw the toes on one her feet were turned up so I knew she was having a muscle spasm and I thought to my self she was in so much pain and not able to ask for help.
There were so many other cases that were heart-wrenching like a 27-year-old young man died from sclerosis of the liver I was told he had been consuming alcohol from age 12 his parents were devastated
There were people with lung cancer fighting to breathe and we would try everything we knew how and there was just nothing you could but watch then and all this time fighting to keep your emotions in check because you can’t break you have to be strong their family members needed you to be strong
I have left out all the gory details there is so much more but I have been retired now for 5 years and writing this article I can feel the sadness and the feeling of hopelessness again and I am once again trying to keep my emotions in check.
Would you be a hospice nurse? If not then why not and if you would why would you please respond ask questions I will try and answer just leave your comments and questions below.
Thank you so much for reading my post and do stop by again.
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