It Takes a Special Kind of Nurse

When it comes time to celebrate nurses, I’m willing to bet most people are thinking of the nurses who help you recover or help rehabilitate a loved one. You picture the efforts, smiles, and comfort. Yet there is so much more that they offer. In fact, there is a whole category of nurses who fly under the radar.

When I think of nurse appreciation, I remember sitting by my grandmother’s bed when she was in hospice. So much of what she was going through was confusing for me. Death and the process of dying isn’t something people talk about very often. As a result, it’s terrifying to watch because we don’t understand what the process looks like and why certain physical peculiarities appear. To make matters worse, we don’t fully comprehend the effect witnessing a loved one’s end-of-life journey will have on us. 

The hospice nurses cared for not only my grandmother, but also my family. They helped us understand what was happening and why it was happening, and they answered each and every question we had. Before that time, I never realized that a hospice nurse is perhaps just as vital for the family as for the patient.

Since then, I’ve come to realize there are social media personalities who educate people in the same way. One I’ve found especially informative is Julie McFadden, who goes by the name Hospice Nurse Julie. I’m sure there are more out there, McFadden is just one whose teachings particularly speak to me. 

To these nurses who help families cope every day, who teach us how to accept the inevitable, I offer my most sincere appreciation. My grandma — a nurse herself — would have said you’re “the bee’s knees,” and she was right.

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