Author Archives: Amy Getter

About Amy Getter

MS, RN, CHPN

WE MIGHT NOT BE SO SURE…

I find myself in another paradoxical debate.  I have made my best attempt to find adequate palliative care research being done on managing end-of-life secretions (“the death rattle” people often refer to), and I cannot say I have read sufficient … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care | Tagged | 1 Comment

REMEMBRANCE

Memorial Day is a day to remember fallen heroes.  Many years ago I stood at the edge of the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France.  I looked out over the vast numbers of white crosses, as far as the eye could … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care | 4 Comments

HELPLESS

I’ve had many moments of observing the steady slowing and final stopping of a heart beat.  I’ve had countless times to share a patient’s frightening sense of vulnerability as bodies cheat their owners and life becomes uncertain with death a … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care | 8 Comments

Roy-boy

Seventeen years ago today, myself, my youngest sister, only brother, and our spouses buried my mother.  Two days ago, I revisited the moments of my mother’s death as my brother lay dying.  Seven years prior he had survived a cardiac … Continue reading

Posted in dying at home, hospice story | 4 Comments

THE WORST PATIENT/DIFFICULT FAMILY?

Nurses, not infrequently, have been labeled (very often by other nurses) as “the worst patients; the difficult family member”.  Here’s a couple reasons why: nurses invariably assume the role of caregiver in both their careers AND their lives.  They historically … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care | Tagged , | 4 Comments

PANDEMICS MERELY HIGHLIGHT NURSING HOME PREDICAMENT

A wise saying: There is nothing new under the sun.  Suffering is our human condition; we all have some experience with it.  Though it seems of late there is just too much.  A recent visit to a nursing home reminded me … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care | 1 Comment

“HE WHO CANNOT, TEACHES”

As I thought about who and what have been my greatest teachers in life, I considered the quote: He who can, does; He who cannot, teaches*.  Though this quote is considered disparaging to teachers, I like to think of it … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care | 1 Comment

WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND

Don’t call me morbid because I’ve spent the past few days preparing obituary examples.  I’ll be using these for a class of young people to demonstrate a bit of what “legacy” means: something left behind when you are gone.  This … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care, legacy | Tagged , | 1 Comment

WHO ADVOCATES?

How many of us, as nurses, have had the experience of speaking to an “enflamed” family member, and practiced all our communication skills to bring calm and rational judgment into play?   Recently, in the midst of a friend’s pain … Continue reading

Posted in advocacy; patient rights; hospice nurse, palliative care | 5 Comments

NEVER GIVE UP

I am concerned about a new mantra afoot: that palliative care–unlike hospice care– is not “giving up” but is addressing improved symptom management and quality of life (QOL) for all patients with advanced disease.  I  am disappointed as I read … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care, palliative care | Tagged | 1 Comment