What Would I do differently?


If I had it to do over, what would I do differently? It’s a good question. I think people ask this question of me because they are doing the best job they can and would do it better if they knew what to do. We’re all doing the best we can with what we have to work with at the moment.

I did have it to do over, and over. With each of the three people I had in my charge to the end of their lives, I think I did a little better each time. Each was an individual with different needs and different physical conditions. There was a lot to learn each time, but some aspects of care are common and that’s where the improvement came. My patience with myself improved as my confidence grew. I knew I was doing my best for their physical condition and I focused more on helping them emotionally, which helped me at the same time to maintain empathy. It’s easy to become a robot when you’re doing the same thing day in and day out. If I could ease the transition for them, it was because I was gaining understanding and balance. Since I couldn’t reverse the physical, being more confident in my nursing and management skills allowed me to consider what I now believe is most important; the emotional condition of the patient.

I’ve noticed that the professionals in hospitals and doctors offices skirt as many personal questions as they can. Hospice, too. They don’t have time to get into the emotional or serious concerns of each patient or Caregiver and that’s as it should be, it’s not their responsibility. I know there are some doctors who take a little more time, but it’s really up to the people closest to the patient to take care of these needs.

The patient is not a number who’s time is up, to be dismissed because they can’t be useful to society anymore. We’re all in this together. We’re learning from each other from moment to moment. Our relationship with the people we care for is significant to our growth as well as theirs. None of us are victims, we each will come through our journey for the better if we do the best we can from where we are at the moment.

If you’re wondering what you could do better, don’t worry, you’ll figure it out. You’re growing and this is part of the journey for all concerned.

Until soon, I wish you love and patience.

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