Our Nurses Provide Their Perspectives During Nurses Week

Daizi Schiano, RN, BSN, Case Manager

1.     Why did you choose to be a hospice nurse?
 I knew in college that I wanted to be a hospice nurse. My step father passed when I was a sophomore in college after a long battle with prostate cancer that had spread. Watching the comfort and care that hospice provided to my family at their most vulnerable time solidified what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Despite many of my teachers and fellow students telling me that Hospice was “what nurses retire into” I knew that I wanted to work with this population and make a difference in their end of life experiences.  
 
 2.     How would you summarize your role as a hospice nurse?
 A hand holder, a care taker, an advocate. Someone to ease physical and emotional pain to both patients and families and explain / normalize what they are experiencing. 
 
3.     What’s one thing you wish patients knew before they entered hospice care?
 You don’t have to be at the last days of life in order to be on hospice. So many people come onto hospice too late. Quality of life can be given so much sooner. 
 
4.     What do you find the most fulfilling about your job?
Knowing that people pass in peace and in comfort. Knowing that families get the chance to say their goodbyes and sit at their loved ones bedside and remember the memories they have. Knowing that our patients have dignity in death. 
 

Joanna Merletti, RN, BSN, Admissions RN
 
1.  Why did you choose to be a hospice nurse?
Being a hospice nurse is the reason why I went into nursing in the first place, to provide a holistic approach to care- body, mind & soul. After working in acute care and long term care settings, I have found hospice nursing to be the most fulfilling of all. It feels like it’s a part of me.
 
 2.  How would you summarize your role as a hospice nurse?
As an Admissions Hospice Nurse, I help patients and families come up with solutions at a point in their life that is emotionally trying. I provide education on Niagara Hospice philosophy & services and discuss the resources available to help them prepare for the care ahead and initiate services and support for comfort care.  

3. What’s one thing you wish patients knew before they entered hospice care?
I wish that patients and families knew that we could start Hospice services sooner to help them cope, allow for more quality of life, and better prepare them for optimizing the time spent with their loved one.   

4. What do you find the most fulfilling about your job?
    The amount of trust that patients and families place on the Admissions Hospice Nurse is humbling. It makes one want to be a better person. 


Judy Bailey, RN, Case Manager

1.  Why did you choose to be a hospice nurse?
I chose to be a hospice nurse because of going through cancer with my mom and several of my aunts. They did not have hospice care and after watching them knew I wanted to help people have a comfortable end of life. I also had a chance to work for hospice as a HHA, and watching the support given to patients and their families made my desire to be a hospice nurse even more.
 
2. How would you summarize your role as a hospice nurse?
 As a hospice nurse I have the privilege of helping pts go through the end of their life with comfort and quality. I am able to walk with pts as well as their families through the process and it is a great reward to know that I have made their end of life easier. I work with a wonderful team which is a privilege as we support the patient and families together.

3.  What’s one thing you wish patients knew before they entered hospice care?
 I wish people knew that a diagnosis of six months or less doesn’t mean they are going to just lie down and die. I wish they realized the sooner they come to hospice the quicker they can get their symptoms managed and because of that have more quality of life and support.

4.  What do you find the most fulfilling about your job?
It is fulfilling to know that I have helped pts and families through some of the most difficult times of their lives. If I can make a patient smile (many times they make me smile) and give them some comfort and hope my day is fulfilled. 


 

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