Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dying Good

This new class is really something else. Now let me start by saying I don't even think it does it justice to call it one course; it's really four courses.
  1. Community Nursing
  2. Advanced Pediatrics
  3. Advanced Mother-Baby
  4. Leadership
Each section has it's own clinical sites. Each has it's own APA-style research paper and associated online tests I need to complete. There's also a massive group teaching project as well. This course really feels like they are cramming about one year of a Bachelor program into 12-weeks.

I did my clinical yesterday at an inpatient hospice facility. I thought it was really awesome. I mean really awesome. Patients were comfortable, not stressed, and it was very peaceful with the exception of family members not coping with their impending loss well. I mean seriously, if I'm gonna go, this is how I want to go.

I've seen patients, even some at my work, that I truly believe need this kind of nursing. I had a 90-year old patient with a gangrenous leg a few nights ago who was a full code status. The only reason she still had the leg was because she wasn't a surgical candidate... she would have died during the amputation. So instead of placing her on hospice care, the family felt it was best to admit her to a intense in-patient rehabilitation center where she was forced to complete 3 hours of physical therapy a day. She'd cry and say she just wanted to stay home and drink coffee and watch talk shows. I'll be damned if someone 90 years old in that poor of a condition shouldn't be able to do whatever the hell they want to and spend there last weeks or possibly months in comfort. You gotta love idiot MPOAs that can't see anything beyond their own selfish needs to hang onto someone's life with no regard for the quality of it.

I'd never seen hospice before yesterdaty, but I'm telling you, my patient from the other night could have drank all the coffee she wanted and watched all the TV shows she wanted and not had to deal with the ridiculously intense pain of muscle death in her gangrenous leg. If you're going out, that's how you want to go: pain-free, but not sedated, with plenty of time for inner reflection and meaningful goodbyes to your friends and family. Truly an amazing thing hospice is.

As far as the class, it's fairly insane the rate at which it goes. One thing after another, and another, and another... But I'm actually kind of used to it and not really shocked at this point.

Anyhow, until next post!


Cartoon Characters said...

I absolutely agree with you. Hospice is a wonderful way to go compared to "full on" hospital care .....
Glad you got that experience...

Estelle Darling said...

Not really a hospice-nursing kinda girl but I diffiently understand the need for it.

Glad to hear things are starting to get back on track for you, doll. Keep us posted. :)

emunah said...

I just read many of your posts as I am considering nursing school.
Keep up the good work! I hope your mom feels better and focus on moving on! Life is HUGE!

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