I almost forgot about Dennis. That’s what Carol Novembre thinks his name was. Carol and I worked together in the early 60s at Pollack Hospital in Jersey City. It was a county-run hospital. Dennis was head of maintenance. I learned a lot from him about the political corruption that went on behind the scenes. Not … Continue reading Stories that Need to be Told
I have been on the lecture circuit. My topic is Empowering the Patient: How to Navigate the Health Care System. Two presentations down and two to go with another in the negotiating stage. I’m fine-tuning the presentation based on the feedback I have received from my audience each time I give the talk. Sana Goldberg’s … Continue reading Nurses Give Their Expert Advice on Understanding the Broken Health Care System
Next Sunday, November 5th, will be the 20th anniversary of my mastectomy. Afterward, my surgeon draped her arm over my shoulders and said I was “cured” as she escorted me out of her office on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. Each November 5th , I would make a big deal of the anniversary date of … Continue reading Twenty Years After the Cancer Diagnosis.
I have been thinking for a long time about the fact that we older nurses are dying off. We will take with us our memories of nursing history. I have always loved to hear from other seasoned nurses about how they size up their nursing careers as they look back. What was important at the … Continue reading Leaving Our Legacy
Reblogged from September 20, 2012. Happy Halloween.
I have been pestering my classmates from nursing school (we are about to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary next month) to write their stories so I can post them on my blog. Maybe pestering is too mild a word. Regardless, I have succeeded. Two women have sent me stories.
This is her story when she worked for a Hospice in Central New Jersey in the late 1990’s.
THOUGHTFULNESS IN THE FACE OF GRIEF
Written by Joan Moore
One of the most important aspects of hospice nursing is that a nurse is available 24/7 for the patients. This means every nurse on the team is required to take a turn being “on call”.
I’d like to share one of my many on call experiences.
My weekend started quietly. It was a Saturday in October. Halloween. In that neighborhood when Halloween falls on a weekend, the kids…
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Larissa MacFarquhar is a staff writer for the New Yorker. She has written profiles on “do-gooders,” people whose altruistic acts “spring from genuine empathy.” Her subjects are varied: Quentin Tarantino, Diane von Furstenberg and Paul Krugman. Most recently she spotlighted Heather Meyerend, not a famous person, but a nurse. Her story starts on page 62 … Continue reading A Hospice Nurse is Featured in The New Yorker
Taking a Blog break. This post appeared on March 10, 2013.
A friend deliberated whether she should visit her father for his 95th birthday. She was swamped with commitments. Since he was unaware of his birthday as well of his surroundings and didn’t even recognize his three daughters, there was no urgency to travel to another state.
However, she cleared her schedule and made the trip, as did another sister and a niece. Both lived out-of-state also.
As it turned out, on his birthday, he had a choking episode with difficulty breathing. He stopped eating and died three days later, surrounded by those he loved who otherwise would not have been there had they not come to commemorate the day he was born.
This story reminded me of a patient I cared for back in the early ‘90’s when I worked as a nurse practitioner in a home care program. I had made a first visit to an elderly man…
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