Showing posts from February, 2018

Compassion and Choices for End of Life

There are so many things we put off thinking about, most to our own detriment or that of our loved ones. Lately I've become much more aware of the problems of our most elderly, as I've faced the possibilities of my mother's likely deterioration and death that could be anytime. Or years down the road, even though she's 92. That side of the family, unlike my father's, is blessed with longevity. Yet, I'm all but certain my great, great-grandfather, who died at 93 in The Great Depression, was not forced to suffer long. Back then, there were few means of torture that we have available today--torture that gets re-framed by the "care" community who profits by keeping people alive more than assisting the suffering to die quickly. Compassion and Choices , not to be confused with the Hemlock Society, offers information that some might still consider dangerous. I do not. As a pro-active nurse, I intend to be involved in making decisions to the best of my ab

A Story of Survival in the Making

Like any psychiatric nurse, trained to listen with a keen eye during the assessment process, I was often the first keeper of privileged information that a patient met years ago, on admission to an inpatient unit. Unlike in the therapist’s office, where the counselor and receptionist may be the sole keepers, my initial evaluation was often considered by the clinicians I worked with to be simply a reliable place to start. Yet it was only a start and could just as easily be discounted for a variety of reasons. Same as this review.  It all depends on who is reading it. In the psychiatric hospital, more so than in many outpatient units, the checks and balances that are built into the system, from each discipline over a period of days of close observation, may or may not offer a more accurate picture of what’s going on. Many clinicians believe, as I do, that the best nursing assessments are done in neither a hospital or a counselor’s office, but in the patient’s own home environment