The patient I'd taken care of for 8 days was finally discharged to hospice yesterday. It's a rare thing to have someone for more than one day on our floor, let alone 8. I hope that I had some impact on getting the family to understand her desire to be comfortable in her last days and to stop fighting a losing battle. I hope I was able to convey kindness and compassion to her in her last days. That's what being a nurse is all about, afterall.
I actually had three patients whose families loved me and thanked me every day for being there with them and for helping the medical team to hear and recognize their individual concerns. I learned a lot about being a patient advocate and helping someone to either heal, live, or die with dignity.