When I was in charge I witnessed one of the best acts of compassion I have seen in a long time. Sabrena Bedwell was assigned to a room where the patient was in his final days of life. Sabrena had cared for this patient the two days prior. On that Monday morning, the patient’s family was scheduled to meet with Hospice to plan for discharge. By 2:30 pm it quickly became apparent that the patient was actively dying and that discharge to Hospice would not be an option. There simply was not enough time.
Sabrena worked with the Palliative Care to get in touch with the attending doctor. Sabrena, the nurse practitioner, and attending discussed the plan of care. They were able to get in touch with the nephew (POA) and change the patient to DNRCC. The nephew was unable to leave work and no other family members were present. Since no family was able to be present for the impending death, the PCA and Sabrena both pulled up chairs and sat beside the patient holding his hands and speaking softly to comfort him as he passed at almost 4:30 pm.
After the patient had passed and I was filling out the needed paperwork, the POAs wife called to give me the information regarding the funeral home. We spoke for a few minutes and she simply asked if the patient was in pain and I assured her that Sabrena and the PCA had made him comfortable. I could hear the tears and her voice cracked as she asked if he was alone when he died. I was able to assure her that he was not; that Sabrena and the PCA had sat with him and held his hands as he passed. The family was so grateful and thankful. Both employees exhibited great compassion and treated the patient with utmost dignity and because of them The Christ Hospital’s no patient dies alone initiative stayed true.