Lippincott NursingCenter.com is partnering with Lippincott Solutions
to bring you an inspired nurse’s story every month. Here is the July 2018 inspired nurse story, Making a Difference.
Making a Difference
Randi A Schwarz, RN, CPC-P
Health Partners Plans
Clinical Investigator/Special Investigations Unit
My experience took place years ago, when I was working as a hospice case manager. I found hospice care to be the most rewarding part of my practice experience. People would often ask me how I could do hospice nursing as all my patients were going to soon pass away, to which I would reply, “My job is to ensure that these people have the best quality of life for whatever time they have left. I am doing God's work on earth.”
One patient I will never forget is Mary. She lived with her son in an old row home in Philadelphia. When I first began visiting Mary one hot summer, the vehicle I drove was old and without any air conditioning, so Mary's son made sure he always had a full pitcher of ice cold tea waiting for me every time. Seeing people in their home, makes you very close to the patient and their families.
As time went on, Mary's health deteriorated as expected (she had lung cancer.) One Friday I mentioned to her my birthday was that weekend, and when I arrived the following week, Mary had crocheted a beautiful afghan for me. To this day, that afghan is one of my most treasured possessions. But on that Friday, I saw Mary just hanging on, and I could tell she was going to pass imminently (a skill I hated to have developed). I was the on-call nurse that weekend so told her I would see her the next morning. She was so weak, so I did what I had to do that afternoon, and then left to go to my next appointment. Fifteen minutes later, I got a call from Mary’s son telling me she had passed away. I immediately went back to pronounce her death and fill out the death certificate. Mary's son asked if I would come to the wake/viewing a few days later, and when I arrived, he began introducing me around like I was a rock star. People told me how she would often speak about me and the way I provided her care. “I only did what I was trained to do,” I’d say. But I know I made a difference, which is why I went to nursing school in the first place.
To share an inspiring story of your own about being a nurse, or how you were inspired by another, and enter to win prizes, visit http://lippincottsolutions.lww.com/landing/inspired-nurses.html. Be sure to check our blog every month for a new inspired nurse’s story.