Forced to Say Good-Bye

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four weeks ago the visiting nurse agency I work at announced it was closing. Since it was a job that I absolutely loved, this was devastating news. After the shock, the anger flared and the “what ifs” nearly drove me crazy. Now I have three more days to go until my last day. I’ve accepted the inevitable but I am very sad and it hurts to say good-bye.

My patients have had a hard time too. Some of my patients I have seen at least weekly for over four years. There is the ninety year old that stands by the window watching for me to arrive. One of my patients tells me that she talks to me more than she talks to her son and daughter. She makes it clear that she doesn’t want any other nurse ever taking care of her. There’s also that new Alzheimer’s patient that is just beginning to get used to me coming to see her. There is still so much more I want to do to help her.

This week, however, is not about implementing new plans of care, getting my patients through the lonely holiday season, or recertifying them for another 60 days of care under Medicare. Instead I am saying my good-byes.

Today there was one hard good-bye. The wife of a man with advanced parkinson’s disease started crying when she walked me to the door. When I first started seeing her husband, she was uneasy about people coming in to their home to help her care for her husband. That was two years ago. Over time, she became comfortable with the visits and told me that she thought of me as their friend. I walked away from their house in tears.

This was all getting to be too much until I remembered one thing: I may be saying good-bye to some very special people which greatly saddens me but I know that in my next job there will also be the opportunity to make those incredible human connections that touch my heart. That is one of the best reasons to be a nurse!

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