Honoring Home Health & Hospice Nurses

This Week We Celebrate Nurses & Teachers!

It might be coincidence that both Nurses Week and Teacher Appreciation Week are in the same week, but I think it’s really quite fitting.

I’ve worked in homecare for the last 15.5 years.  During that time the people who have taught me the most about homecare, patients, homecare software, what it takes to do great homecare documentation, and much about life, have been Home Health and Hospice nurses.  I traveled with a couple of different nurses for three years doing presentations around the country. They taught me all about mucus color, colostomy bags, and catheters… Always during lunch.  (They found themselves quite amusing! I’ll admit, I did too!)

They taught me other great lessons that didn’t involve bodily fluids that I hold dear.

  • Point of Care devices don’t hurt patient relationships, our own fears of using them impact them far greater.
  • If you build a software program that thinks and works like a clinician, adoption will be significantly higher.
  • Always carry hand sanitizer.
  • Listen. Your patients and their families will tell you all you need to know.
  • Humor is a part of a clinicians “bag”. It’s in there, and you always seem to know when to use it.
  • You care deeply. Sometimes too deeply for your own good.

They also taught me what to expect when someone is dying.  It is this lesson that I will be forever grateful for. For it was the nurses that I worked with, that I counted on when a member of my family was facing the end of their journey. They listened to my fears, explained my choices and supported me thereafter. Part counselor, part teacher, part friend – True nurse.

To all of the nurses that do so much for so many… THANK YOU.