Sabrina McKeithan has been a registered nurse for over 40 years, the past fifteen and a half years in the field of hospice, which is where her passion lies. She says, “Hospice nursing is challenging, which enables a nurse to think outside the box. There is nothing more humbling than assisting a patient to reach their goals of dying how they choose to die.”
In this latest blog, published by the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN), she writes of a very meaningful experience to her of providing hospice care for a very young patient and her family. Whe writes:
As a hospice nurse, we care for all ages, colour and creed. Do not run in reverse when that phone call comes and you find out that you will be caring for a teeny, tiny baby.
You may become overwhelmed with fear, worry- ‘I cannot do this’ or I ‘don’t do babies’ etc. None of us choose what happens in our lives but this is what we do, isn’t it?
Instead, use those resources that surround you so you can prepare yourself for the task ahead; be comfortable and strong in your knowledge and the confidence as a hospice nurse to simply do the best you can.
Sit back and ponder about how the parents are coping with the news that their baby is not going to survive; the overwhelming feelings of being distraught with fear and worry over a loss they may not yet be able to grasp.
They deserve a nurse with a ‘hospice heart’ full of compassion, love, knowledge, empathy, guidance and the ability to sit, be quiet and listen.
Work with them through their fears and worries; ease the path that this journey is taking them on and be present for them and with them. Encourage them to prepare in a way that is manageable for them, making plans, making memories, setting little goals with their wee ones.
I have been blessed with the absolute joy of caring for a teeny, tiny baby who in turn has blessed me beyond measure. She is a precious child of God who deserves her time on this earth to be filled with a loving, safe and secure environment. Ensuring she is comfortable and having all her needs met in the best possible way.
Read the full blog here.