57: What to Expect When Your Patient is Dying with Hospice Nurse Hadley
Nurses are trained to treat and save lives, but hospice nurses focus on a different set of skills. As host Sarah says in this episode as she speaks with Hadley Vlahos, RN, “fixing isn’t the only great thing we can do as nurses.”
In this episode and her new book, The In-Between, Hadley shares what it’s like to care for patients that are dying and what she’s learned from their end of life wisdom. She offers insight into what to expect as a patient is passing, what type of vernacular to use with grieving families, and lots more.
Hadley and Sarah also discuss hard-to-describe things like the energy shift that happens after a patient passes, and an often unexplainable final burst of energy many patients have when they are close to dying. Plus, Sarah shares her life-changing first experience with a dying hospice patient in the ER.
Whether you plan to work in hospice or not, tune in to hear tips on how you can be a better nurse to dying patients and their families!
Topics discussed in this episode:
- Misconceptions about hospice nursing
- What you can expect when a patient is dying
- Signs that a patient is passing
- How nurses can make patients more comfortable in their final days
- That final burst of energy before death
- Hadley’s most life-changing patient
- What you feel after a patient passes
- How you can be compassionate towards patient’s loved ones
- Tips for speaking to family members about death and dying
- Using the words “death” and “dying”
- Lessons Hadley has learned from her patients
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