Today’s blog is provided by Guest Blogger, Charleen Petree, RN Case Manager

People often tell me they couldn’t do what I do.  However, being a Hospice Nurse isn’t always about the bad stuff.  Part of being a Hospice Nurse, is being there, actually being there holistically for the patient and their family, during the good and the bad.  I couldn’t do it alone, and thankfully, I don’t have to.  Our patients are not just seen by the Nurse, but also by an Aide, Chaplain, and Social Worker.  Pre COVID-19, we even had volunteers, which as life returns to normal, so will that offering.

Have you ever seen the movie Robots (2005)?  Bigweld of Bigweld Industries coined the phrase, “See a need, fill a need”.  That’s similar to what our Gift of a Day program is all about.  While caring for and supporting our patients and families, all of our team members are in search of that “need”, big or small.  Funded through donations, our Gift of a Day program then fills those needs.

Lately it has been sunny and Spring seems to be in the air.  However, it wasn’t that long ago that temps were down into the negative double digits.  Could you imagine then, being in your final days, and running out of propane.  Temperatures in your house quickly dropping.  Your sole source of heat becomes a wood burning stove which you alone have to feed with wood around the clock in order to keep warm.  A need was certainly established.  Do you know how difficult it is to find space heaters after the temperatures fall that low?  I do.  Three home improvement stores later, I had 2 space heaters and was on my way.  Indoor temperature was down to 44 degrees when I arrived, but began to rise with the space heaters.  What a Gift for a Cold Day.

Gift of a Day is not about filling only basic needs of survival though.  Like I said, needs can be big or small.  I have also had a patient that suffered through multiple strokes which left him in a wheelchair.  Without a wheelchair van, it is nearly impossible to participate in family gatherings outside of his own home.  One such gathering was going out to dinner for his grandson’s birthday.  He couldn’t attend.  When I heard this, gears started turning.  Through the generosity of others donations, we were able to have a wheelchair van pick him and his wife up and take them out for dinner.  To make it extra special, we took this Italy born gentlemen and his wife out to his favorite Italian restaurant.  We enjoyed a fun Dono di un Giorno (Gift of a Day).

So to those who tell me they can’t do what I do, I tell you, it’s because I focus on all the good and there is plenty to go around.  And to those of you who have donated to Liberty Hospital Hospice, Thank You.  We can’t do it without you.