Monday, October 6, 2008

Hospice Nurses

I thought I should tell you a little bit about what hospice nursing is besides race car driving-which no one appreciated:) Anyways, I became interested in the hospice field when my Grandpa Fowkes was very ill with terminal colon cancer. My Uncle Greg took great care of him at home until the day he passed away. This was while I was still in college and working as a certified nursing assistant. My first day of working hospice I knew I was in the right place, and this was when I was bathing people, changing them, shopping for them, among other activites.

I love to listen to the patient's stories and hear about what they used to do for a living, their family stories, pictures, insights into life. They have so much to share and sometimes no one to share it with. Most people think of nurses as taking vital signs (which I do), being poked at with needles and all the other high tech stuff that can come with the profession. I am lucky that I don't have to do all those things. I am able to spend time with these lovely people and really listen to them. My patience skills with my kids are not the best (at they will attest to) but when it comes to the patients I can sit there and look at pictures and listen to the stories for hours. And when they reach the stage where they are about to pass on to Heaven, I am able to help their loved ones tell them it is ok to let go and encourage them to hold their hands and still give them kisses and hugs.

I tried to post a picture my mom sent me of my Grandpa and Grandma Cowley along with my grandpa's sisters. They were watching the olypmic's in 1990. But I could not get the post to work!!! It was not until later in life that I found out my Grandma Cowley was a flapper (and a very good looking one:)). They were married during the depression and lived in a tent while my Grandpa built their house from the ground up. That house is still standing today in Holladay, Utah. My Grandpa was a fireman, mechanic and liked to stir up trouble when he was younger from the stories I hear. It is fun to hear these stories as I remember my Grandpa as a quiet man-but I think that is because he would not wear his hearing aides!!! My Grandma had the best laugh and I can still hear it today, even though she passed on 7 years ago. My Grandma Fowkes taught Kindergarten in Payson, Utah and I am amazed the people I run into that know her or of her. My Grandpa Fowkes worked on a farm, construction and we could always look forward to riding in the back of his truck when we visited them. He also used to sneak us candy when Grandma and parents were not looking. When I was in college, I had to have an emergency appendectomy and he picked me up and I stayed with him for a week while I was recouperating. I defenitely had better food than what my roommates or I could cook!

So this is why I went into Hospice nursing, to make a difference in people's lifes at a difficult time. I may show some stupidity now and then to help me cope with all the loss I see, but I promise no more texting and driving!! So mom, quit calling me dumb:)