Starting off the news for nurses this week is a story that rings true for nurses, especially those in palliative and hospice care, even though it’s not about a nurse. I found an article entitled “What People Talk About Before They Die” in the religion blog at CNN.com. I was intrigued because I’ve been a proponent of hospice and palliative nursing care since my grandparents were brought home to die in a comforting setting when I was younger.
Chaplain Shares End-of-Life Conversations
The young chaplain who wrote the article talks about her experiences just listening to people nearing the end of their lives. She relates what they almost always talk about at the end of life. This is something that is a very special privilege and it is one that often is experienced by nurses in the health care setting.
Nurses are the primary bedside caregivers. We are the ones who talk with and listen to our patients when they talk about their lives and loved ones. We are the ones they often entrust these stories to. We share this privilege with very few others, chaplains among them.
Care for Spiritual Needs, Too
Don’t forget the spiritual aspects of our patients health and don’t be afraid to invite them to share this aspect with you even if you come from a different spiritual or faith background. When the resources are available, offer to refer them to a spiritual consult with a chaplain or other religious or spiritual resource of their choice.
I urge you to read this article. I know I always say that but this time, I want you to go check out the link to this article. Read the insights from this particular spiritual leader about conversations at the end of life and consider how you can take this information into your daily practice. Sometimes I think we forget how to really listen to our patients. Remember that.
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Sepsis Alliance Nursing Resources and Episode 370.