Sometimes, Nurses Play Cards…

May 3, 2019, Gilchrist, Hospice, Nurses
play cards
Gail Blackburn, Gilchrist’s Associate Clinical Director of Home Care/Facility Based Care

Every so often a perfectly timed event opens new possibilities. That’s how I felt about recent statements made by Washington State Senator Maureen Walsh. As you’ve probably heard, Senator Walsh said that nurses “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day” during a Senate floor debate about mandatory meal and rest breaks. As you might imagine, Senator Walsh’s statement did not sit well with many people and she is now the not so proud owner of more than 1,700 decks of playing cards! Hearing about her uninformed remarks reminded me that some people have no understanding of the time, effort, work and dedication that goes into being a nurse. So, in honor of National Nurses Week, I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about what hospice nurses do every day and why.

Why become a hospice nurse?

Many of us became hospice nurses because we believe strongly in an individual’s right to a dignified death. We’re curious about “what comes next” for those who cannot be cured or no longer wish to pursue a curative course. We want to be there with you for the rest of the story. We want to spend more time with you and your family. We bring the knowledge, skills and expertise developed in our acute care experiences to help those we serve live as fully as possible until life ends.

We know that everyone is going to have an end-of-life experience, even us. When you think about it, this is true only for birth and death. It’s personal and it’s relevant to our lives as well as yours.

Nurses join hospice for a variety of reasons, but we stay because our patients inspire us. Thank you!

What we do.

Hospice nurses assess needs, plan care, do the work, revise plans, recommend changes, collaborate with colleagues, coordinate services, teach everyone and anyone, champion excellence and witness sacred moments.

We come into your homes or we welcome you into our centers at any hour of the day or night. We learn about what’s most important to you and work to keep that at the center of everything that’s happening. We meet your pets, admire your gardens, look at your photographs, and listen to your feedback, even when it stings. We’ve arranged weddings, wrangled wildlife, and acted as travel agents.

Occasionally, if it’s not too busy, and you have a deck, we even play cards.

To learn more about Gilchrist visit our website:

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