Favorite nursing work


I’ve found it interesting that terminally ill patients often mention a form of transportation in their last days. One young man whose skin cancer was lethal, mentioned how he was thinking about riding his horse over a ridge. An older woman said to me, “If you would just give me the steering wheel.”
One morning, I was asked to visit a home because a woman had called anxiously to say she thought her husband had stopped breathing. He had long been DNR. After I arrived and confirmed his death with my stethoscope, I heard the story of how her husband had mentioned the previous day that he would be “taking the train tomorrow morning.” She had thought he was just living in the past when he would take the commuter train into NYC. I explained the likelihood that he had given a “final gift” to her by sharing this. We sat down and, relieved, she said, “Yes, I think he was ready.”

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