Hospice is very different from other kinds of nursing and health care. Most of us know that doctors and nurses in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other places care a lot about numbers. They check your heartbeat, blood, and other things to see if they are normal. Sometimes, they do things that make you uncomfortable, like putting a tube in your nose, because they want to fix the numbers. But they don't always think about how you feel. They are trying to fix the numbers, not you, the person. This short story shows you how non-hospice and hospice nurses are different. A cares more about you, the person.

Setting: A hospital room where an extremely sick patient feels like throwing up. A non- and a hospice nurse are there.

Non-Hospice Nurse

[Nurse comes into the room and sees the patient feeling like throwing up. The nurse runs to hold the patient down.]

Nurse: Oh no, we need to check your numbers and take some blood! I can't let you throw up everywhere. Don't move! I need to hold you down for your good.

Patient: [Trying to get away] But… I feel so bad. Can't you leave me alone?

Nurse: No, no, we can't do that. We need those numbers! This will be over soon. Stay still!

Hospice Nurse

[Hospice nurse enters the room and sees the patient's pain.]

Hospice Nurse: Oh, I see you're feeling sick. I'm here to help. Let's focus on your comfort, okay?

Patient: Thank you, it's tough right now. I appreciate any help I can get.

Hospice Nurse: Of course. Remember, your happiness and comfort are the most important things. Let's find a way to make you feel less sick. Do you want to sit up a little or try lying on your side?

Patient: Maybe sitting up would be better. It feels like lying down makes it worse.

Hospice Nurse: Okay, let's put some pillows behind you for support. I'll also get a bowl in case you need to throw up. Breathe slowly and deeply. Sometimes, that can help with the sickness.

Patient: That's already making me feel a bit better. Thank you for being so kind.

Hospice Nurse: You're welcome. Listening to your body and doing what you need is essential. I'm here to support you during this time.

[The hospice nurse stays with the patient, making them feel better and calm, without focusing on numbers or blood work.]

Patient: Thank you for caring about me and being compassionate. Why can't other nurses be like you?

Resources

Top 30 FAQs About Hospice: Everything You Need to Know

Understanding Hospice Care: Is it Too Early to Start Hospice?

What's the process of getting your loved one on hospice service?

Picking a hospice agency to provide hospice services

Medicare — Find and compare hospice providers

Eldercare Locator: a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources

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