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Why I Love Being a Hospice Nurse

by Samantha K. Pudlewski, BSN, RN, CHPNSam.jpg
Hospice Buffalo, Director of Admissions

As we go through life, there are many moments that you never forget where you were and who you were with. In my life, it has been the birth of my children and the death of my father, step-mother and grandmother. In my opinion, someone’s death is just as important as their birth. We prepare nine months for birth, but no one ever truly prepares for death. Prior to becoming a nurse, I was afraid of death. Then during my first semester of nursing school, my dad died of cancer at the age of 56…I received a crash course in death and dying. Through the years, my nursing career has steered me towards Hospice –I was lucky enough to become part of the Hospice Buffalo team in 2014. People always say to me, “Isn’t it sad working for Hospice?” Although it is sad at times – especially when our younger patients have young children – it’s mostly very rewarding. We come into peoples’ lives at a time when they need the most support and compassion possible, and we develop a bond with their families that lasts beyond their loved one’s death. When a family saysSmanthaHospiceHeart.jpg “I don’t know how I could’ve done this without you,” or “I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for my loved one and family,” it means everything to me and makes the sadness of the job a little less. Knowing we are making a difference every day in someone’s life is what drives a Hospice Nurse. Since I started at Hospice Buffalo I have been offered job opportunities with other companies, but when you truly love what you do, you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else.

Why I Became A Hospice Nurse

by Mary Ann Didas, RN

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As a teenager, I watched my grandmother die in a manner I will never forget. My last memory of the woman I loved so dearly was her naked from the waist up, eyes wide open… terrified… fighting for every breath. The hospital staff spoke to her in a tone that could only be interpreted as rushed and irritated. They pushed our family out of her room and, just a few minutes later, casually and with little empathy informed us that she had died. My beautiful grandmother died terrified – suffocating, with no one to help calm her, hold her hand or say “I love you... you’re not alone.”

And so I entered the field of nursing. After working on med/surgical floors of hospitals for several years, I could no longer be at peace with not providing what my patients needed. Just as important as their medication and treatments, they needed someone to sit with them for a few minutes, make eye contact, listen to their fears and concerns, swab their mouths when they were dry and crust-filled, and be patient with them. I was constantly treading water, trying to stay afloat – giving the bulk of my time to the most critical of my patients, with little to no time for others. Read more>>

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