Holding Hands With Death By Amy Wilke

1961 Words8 Pages
Holding Hands with Death A urine smell mingles with the smell of popcorn when I enter Callaway’s Nursing Home in Sulphur, Oklahoma. I wrinkle my nose. It is three in the afternoon on a Friday in February, and the television in the lobby is showing Bonanza, and a few residents are intently watching the troubles of the Cartwright family. I see Amy Wilke (who is a hospice nurse for Valley Hospice) sitting in a well-worn recliner in the lobby talking to an elderly male resident. Amy is dressed in white scrubs with pink smiley faces. Amy has a kind face with twinkling blue eyes that can express compassion, joy, and sorrow. She has on a glittery pink headband, and her attire clashes with the subdued clothing of the residents and the bleak…show more content…
She tells me that one of the reasons why she became a hospice nurse was witnessing the nurses’ disregard for their patients during her time spent as a nurse’s aide. Amy says, “I remember watching the nurses in the nursing home as a teen, and they barely interacted with the patients. They were cold towards them. I did not want to be like those nurses. That is one of the reasons I was drawn to hospice. I knew that hospice nurses interacted with their patients and got to know them. I wanted to know my patients and their families.” Amy claims that communicating with patients and their families is an essential aspect of a hospice nurse’s job requirements. According to snagajob.com compassion and communication skills are vital to the work of a hospice nurse. Communication and compassion are vital to hospice nurses because hospice nurses work in a highly emotional atmosphere, and the families of their patients tend to be emotional and need comfort from someone who understands the situation. My grandmother no longer speaks; however, Amy tells my grandmother about her life, and Amy says that she can tell that my grandmother is listening through the blinking of her faded green eyes. My family doesn’t have many questions for Amy. Other families, however, bombard her with questions, and she answers all their questions with patience and compassion. A family of an elderly man (who is also in the final
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