What I Have Learned


Photo by filmmaker Carolyn Jones

I didn’t start out as a hospice nurse. Maybe my early nursing years seem a long way off, but the collection of lessons I have learned from my very ill and dying patients span my first day as a new student nurse, discovering my patient had died in the night, to the last visit of my day today, where a loving elderly mother is the caregiver for her dying daughter. So much laughter and sadness intertwined… I’ve only just begun to learn how love covers all the unsightliness, how gifts are found in the midst of the ashes, and how beautiful the human spirit is. My hope: Hospice diary in a small way is sharing these gifts.

Blessings- Amy Getter, MS, RN, CHPN

4 Responses to What I Have Learned

  1. Celeste Barefield, RN BSN says:

    Amy, your article entitled The Last Dose, rang a bell with me. We have discussed this phenomenon at work in our hospice unit and everyone has felt that guilt when the family looks at you and says what’s in that (.injection, sublingual) ? After the patient died within minutes. I tell my colleagues “When that happens, you were the very last one to try to ease that patient’s suffering, good job”. To the distraught family member I say ” That was medicine for (his/her) comfort”. “I’m so glad you were here for their last moment, good job”.


  2. Gail Brockman says:

    Amy, I produce a monthly newsletter for University Of California Davis Hospice (http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/homecare/hospice/) volunteers and staff. It contains notes about meetings and also includes interesting articles from various sources. One of the volunteers recommended one of your posts be included in an upcoming newsletter. In particular, this is the one: Source: https://hospicediary.com/2015/03/02/chose-your-best-death/
    Please let me know if this use is okay.
    Thank you, Gail Brockman (gailbrockman@mac.com).


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