An Extraordinary Week at the Palliative Ward

Posted by georginabelikov on August 18th, 2010

It was a gloomy Monday morning. It's the first day of the week but I wasn't up to going for my duty yet. I only had an hour's sleep the night before, doing my nursing care plan for my patient at the Palliative ward. I had to report for duty, for not doing so would have me ending up in the Chief Nurse?s office, which is not an appealing idea. I had to drown two cups of coffee to perk me up and get ready for the new day.


As I entered the hospital ward, I was greeted by the usual smell of medicines, a smell that never seems to go away in our ward. It's not really a good smell, and one would surely want to scrub himself upon getting out of the rooms. It wasn't exactly a greeting that will make you want to dance and skip and get ready to face a new day. But nonetheless, I plastered a smile on my face as I entered my patient's room.


My patient is an old man of 85, diagnosed with a cancer at the third stage, the part wherein the cancer cells have already metastasized in other parts of the body. It seemed a bit hopeless that he will still last long but he has that strong will to live, even for just a few months. He is a person who does not want sympathy, and would prefer to be treated as a strong person, who was only ill for a few days. He never showed that he is in pain, even when he is at the worst. He would simply call me softly, and would ask for his pain relievers. For his first few days in the ward, he was advised to stay in bed most of the time, and because he had surgery, he was too weak to walk. I provided him all the care that he needed, but he would sometimes say that I don't need to do that, for he is strong enough to do so. Of course I know otherwise so I still helped him.


I know my patient would not last very long, and he would soon be sent home once he has recovered a little. He told me that one of his sons will hire a private nurse for him so that somebody would watch over him while at home. He often expressed his desire of me becoming his private nurse, but it wasn't possible. I often would sit with him in his room, to just simply spend the time with him, and talk about anything that he would like to talk about. Most of the times, he would talk about his children, his wife who died ahead of him, and his grandchildren. He often talked about the days when he was still young, struggling to support a family of eight. He would frequently say to me that being with his family were the best times of his life, and that no material riches would compare to that. However, one of the greatest pieces of advice I have received from him is that I should wait for the right man, and the right time before I decide to get married. As he said, these are the two biggest factors that would determine my happiness in the future.


Talking with my patient always made my days happy whenever I went for duty that week. He always exuded a happy spirit, and I always looked forward to seeing him each day. His family was also very nice, and whenever they were around, we never ran out of jokes while I was in my patient's room. It was truly heartwarming the days I spent with him, and those are days I will never forget. He was discharged after a week's stay in the hospital, and I really missed his aura of optimism.


That week's duty has truly been an extraordinary experience. I have met a man who was close to his deathbed, but he still had the positive thinking that he will overcome the disease, and will spend a longer time with his family. I have learned a lot from him, and I will keep in my heart all the wonderful words of wisdom that he taught me.



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Joined: August 13th, 2010
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