Saturday, 22 January 2022

Sister

 


Yesterday was a mad shift….a real busy one

In this time of covid it’s proved difficult to get a priest into the hospice at short notice in order to give solice to a new patient .

I was incredibly busy and asked a junior support worker to see if she could sort out the request.

She did wonders and a very elderly and gentle faced nun arrived breatessly within minutes, just when she was needed

And I was humbled beyond words , helping this dear old lady into PPE gloves and apron before she went to work, her bible and holy water in hand



55 comments:

  1. I'm not in any way religious, but can see what a calming influence she must have been. It must be very scary entering a hospice for the first time. Kudos to you and the support worker. xx

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  2. And she will have done a wonderful job. Unflappable, gentle, realistic. The best of them are wonderful. The RC church misses out on such treasures forbidding women to be ordained.

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    1. Barbara Anne3:50 pm

      Indeed, Virginia.

      Hugs!

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  3. It must be so important to some believers and clearly there are children of the Lord who step up to the crease. But haven't nuns changed, well here at least.

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    1. I’ve never really met one before so I don’t know

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  4. So special and inspiring to cross paths with the best of humanity.

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  5. Don’t know why, but that’s made me teary.

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  6. A kind thing to do - both by the hospice and the nun.

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    1. P.S. solace not solice

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    2. Peter3:01 pm

      Yorkshire pudding - nit picker. Does it really matter if a word is spelled correctly or not?

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  7. do you have many covid patients?

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  8. I imagine a hospice has a local arrangement with the clergy and nunnery as people die and are dying and some may want solice in this form.

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    1. Much harder than u would expect Rachel.

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    2. Interesting. As Rachel says, most hospitals will have some form of clergy on stand-by. Some years ago, don't ask me what happened because I myself don't know, my mother was hospitalized. I do not wish to speculate why - to ask my father a concrete question to receive a concrete answer you may as well try nailing jelly to the wall.

      Anyway, as my mother told me later, she was aghast when a vicar entered her room. Regrettably, and embarrassing, instead of hearing him out, having a conversation with him on a purely human and general level, my mother sent him packing. Well, I said to her, he was only doing his job which is in the mother lingo, loosely translated, to "take care of the soul". No need to be shirty.

      Anyway, upshot of your story, so I take it, someone died on your last shift. Or as good as.

      Two or three years ago I lost my way in the large University Hospital of our city. Typical. So I wandered onto this ward which can only be described as the "waiting room". One image in particular is seared into my mind. It was, literally, dying in slow motion. The staff seemed unperturbed. Not that they could have done anything about the final outcome.

      U

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    3. Most hospitals will have a chaplain
      Many hospices now don’t have specific spiritual input

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  9. My uncle asked me to go to the local priest and arrange for him to visit my uncle in Hospital-he was dying-I was very disappointed with his reaction-my uncle went to mass at least once a week-I almost had to plead and even then he never agreed to visit him-Soon after my uncle eagerly asked when he would be visiting and I had to be vague and say as soon as he could-he did visit eventually x

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    1. Anonymous1:27 pm

      Flis, that is terrible. My own mom had the opposite happen. Her whole life she lived with kindness toward everyone but rarely ventured to church. She did belong to a church and sent regular donations. When she lived in assisted living and to the end of her life, ministers and other church reps came to visit often. They brought cookies or candy and just chatted with her. I only knew this because I sometimes ran into them on my own visits. I was kind of astounded because these folks were middle aged and wouldn't even have known her if she did attend regularly.
      Nina

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    2. I have found in my experience Methodist community Churches are the most embracing and kind-The priest Appeared at the wake reception afterwards and walked towards me for what I imagined to be condolences and said "would you get me a pint of beer"x

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  10. A life of service, she was there for her calling, as are many

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  11. ... so, your telling us she arrived maskless?

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  12. My mum was at a young persons rehab centre for recovery from a stroke-she was under retirement age-56-One day she asked me if I could arrange for a priest to visit- she wasn't religious as such but married into religion- priest didn't visit but a Nun did-I was shocked as soon after she passed on and later I found out she had known but chose not to share it with me x

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  13. Anonymous2:18 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  14. I'm sure your patient felt great solace in having a nun at her bedside. Good job done locating and bringing a nun to your patient.

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  15. Barbara Anne3:49 pm

    How touching that you and the junior support worker could bring such comfort to your new patient and that the senior nun could get there so quickly. Meeting your patient's needs took on an extra dimension just then. Would that be good Karma?! ;)

    Hugs!

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    1. It all worked so well. The patient died peacefully moments later

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  16. It was a local nun called by in the huge hospital where my Mountain man died..two days before he left us. She didn't say much to him, didn't need to.
    She just gave me a big hug.
    Words are not always needed.

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    1. Understood..I think there is something rather calming

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  17. Excellent that the support worker knew who to call!

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  18. I remember when my father was dying he was restless and the hospital nurse asked if we'd like someone to come and speak with him- being relatively non religious we had not thought of this but a lovely pastor came and met with him. What she said I'll never know but he was so much more at peace afterwards. I'll never forget the kindness of the nurses and the pastor. X

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  19. How beautiful to have the older nun arrive bringing your patient a measure of love and peace.

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    1. I think several of us were rather moved by her entrance

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  20. You don’t have a chaplaincy team? It’s a big part of the hospice I work at.

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    1. No john..we don't many hospices don't anymore

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  21. I don't know how you do it. sounds like your job takes an emotional toll.

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  22. You present a beautiful calming image John.

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  23. How comforting it must of been to have a sister of God visit. Their presence is always one of calm. It is amazing how resourceful people can be when required. Kudos to that young support worker. A good job all round.

    Jo in Auckland

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    1. I’m my experience religious support at the end of life is getting a little rarer than it once was

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  24. Yes that sounds quite comforting. It is a lovely thing to have a clergy person who cares so.

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  25. I've worked with good and bad nuns and nursed a lot. the ones I looked after were gentle and elderly and I felt honoured to look after them. Others were unkind and hard faced. Good and bad in all walks of life

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  26. It makes you understand how they comfort a soul in the time of need. Even a soul who isn't all that God centered. Me ,for instance, and you for another.
    It may not be what is said so much as the being there. Being comforted by one who has so much faith in a God that they would help all.

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  27. I've watched nuns at work, and am humbled by their devotion to kindness.

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  28. What great work you all do.

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  29. What was all the fuss abput PPE for? The man was almost dead anyway? Does not one iota of common sense enter the world of hospice care? Let the woman in in her habit and mask and shut the door and let her comfort the dying man in peace. A PPE outfit for what, brownie points and a box ticked.

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    1. You are ill informed Rachel
      The nun wasn’t in full PPE just apron and gloves which is standard for anyone dealing with close contact of a patient who has not been tested for covid. It is for her protection rather than any one else’s. And is a rule for the hospital trust , whose rules we are obliged to follow.
      I find your words somewhat harsh, to the point but harsh .When in the darker days of covid , when all hospital visiting was cancelled ( which it still is on intensive care) the hospice ,was the ONLY facility which allowed visitors and which continued to do so.
      I understand your wish for pragmatism and I agree with it in part
      But we have a duty to protect 90 years old nuns , vaccinated they may be.
      All patients are tested for covid after admission …and what happens between them and their relatives behind doors are somewhat more relaxed

      The point of my post was to underline the energy and selflessness of the nun. Not in the face of covid but to respond to the need of that patient. Religious intervention with the dying is something we see less and less of at the point of death

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    2. Just to add,
      I can’t think of how many times I have lowered my mask for a patient can see my face, or removed my gloves to Stroke someone’s face
      But that’s my decision
      I would never expect that of anyone else

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    3. Apron is fine. You made it sound like a space suit. I am not so sure about the gloves. Jesus took the hands of lepers. I would expect that the nun in privacy did the same as you describe in your second comment, and took the gloves off. I am glad to hear the hospice allowed visitors in all conditions, and so it should. It was not always clear in your posts that your hospice was different to NHS facilities. Thank you for clarifying these points.

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    4. No I don’t think I did …..
      The hospice is governed by the same operating standards as the nhs, and other health care
      I don’t agree with all of them as I do think we have a very different remit but THEM ARE THE RULES
      Covid can be caught again and again, and although symptoms my be reduced with boosters, nurses off sick, often mean more stressors are planned on the remaining well, and patients may not be admitted because of staff shortages,

      I’ve been a ward manager before, and know that the cogs in the machine need to keep going

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  30. God bless you and keep you safe gentle John.

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