Author Archives: Amy Getter

About Amy Getter

MS, RN, CHPN

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

WHO WILL PROVIDE THE CARE?

I finally read something, in the NY Times, about The Zen Hospice Guest Home* in San Francisco, which closed down last summer.  Though The Zen Home was known to many workers in end-of-life care, others may not consider this significant … Continue reading

Posted in aging, caregiving, dying at home | 1 Comment

A FAREWELL IN 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, I am remembering a friend who died this year.  Over a period of many months, we had these wonderful talks that seemed a lot like Tuesdays with Morrie,* with moments of her insight shared … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care | 1 Comment

HOSPICE ROLES

I will be happy if I never hear or read of another palliative or hospice-trained person saying something like, “she should just be the wife (or whatever the role is) and let us be the caregivers”.  “Should’s” are often not … Continue reading

Posted in caregiving, daughter, end of life care, family of the dying | 5 Comments

ONE WILD AND PRECIOUS LIFE

What will you do with your one wild and precious life?  Mary Oliver. I was thinking about legacy, and how the world shapes us.  There have been so many lives shared with me over the years: some people I have … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care | 1 Comment

WHY HOSPICE, WHY NOW?

There is a question suggested for hospice staff to consider when they talk with people about hospice services.  “Why hospice, why now?”  Ask yourself, what makes this moment in time the reason someone might decide on hospice; what about this … Continue reading

Posted in advocacy; patient rights; hospice nurse, end of life care | Tagged , | 3 Comments

SIBLINGS

J. can no longer easily get out of her recliner, and her adult sisters have arrived to help her manage these last days so she can remain in her home.  She tells us at our nursing visit:  “When they (the … Continue reading

Posted in end of life care | 3 Comments

BEHIND THE WORDS

Words can relay many things, but they only share a part of the message.  Even when words aren’t understood, or are unspoken, we can still communicate.  I recently made a visit to a patient who lay in his bed, able … Continue reading

Posted in communication, end of life care | 2 Comments