Thursday, June 16, 2005

nursing angels

Basagulo's post reminds me of when my mother's mother was in and out of the hospital. The staff at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward were kind as she endured her last days. Our family appreciated their sympathy and patience. They moved her to a private room. Allowed us to linger in the hallway, as we waited for my uncle to arrive from half way around the world. She had chosen to no longer take treatment for her pneumonia, didn't want to live day in day out being choked by a tube that emptied out her lungs of fluid. That was two days before she died. It was then that I saw death as a slow lingering process, not one that's quick like on tv or in the movies.

Hospitals have tons of rules that come from the policy makers, the doctors, and anyone else who can enforce a rule. But it's the nurses who really manage the hospitals. They're the ones who adjust the medication that doctor's proscribe. They're the ones the make exceptions to family members lingering in the hallway. They're the ones that have to find the humanity amongst the bureaucracy.

I know my family thanked the nursing staff on my grandmother's floor but deep in my heart I thank those nurses and all the other nurses out there who do this each and every day for giving us those last days with her. It's really a thankless job.

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