Thursday, September 13, 2012

What Happens When a Loved One Is Very Sick?

Family First | VoiceAmerica™

Most of us know someone who is hospitalized with medical treatment for a serious condition. Each patient and each family has their own unique needs for comfort and care. My guest this week on Family First has 30 years experience giving personalized nursing care. Listen to her stories this Friday at 4 PM ET, 3 PM CT, 2 PM Mt, 1 PM PT, or any time afterwards by going to this link! 

Episode Title:  What Can The Dying Teach Us About Living?

As our population ages, an ever bigger proportion of our population will be dealing with end of life issues. What can we learn from the experience of those dying? What can they teach us about life as well as about death, and how can we help to make their transition more peaceful and love-filled? My guest this week on “Family First” is Becki Hawkins, author of the new book TRANSITIONS: A Nurse’s Education About Life and Death.
Becki Hawkins is a natural storyteller and a great listener and she brought those gifts with her as she sat by the bedside of seriously ill or terminally ill patients for more than 30 years, as an oncology and hospice nurse. It is her compassion and warmth that encouraged so many of her charges to share their heartfelt thoughts and experiences with her. On “Family First” she will share what she has learned from her experiences and also reveal a kind of blueprint for how to help our loved ones to go through their end of life transition in peace, grace, and love.

To hear the program, simply click on this link:: Friday at 1 PM PT, 2 PM MT, 3 PM CT, 4 PM ET, or any time afterwards on podcast or apps.

Becki Hawkins became a nurse’s aide at age 19, which inspired her to earn her degree in nursing. Unusual for someone so young, she chose to start her career in the Oncology Unit in a large city hospital. She progressed to Outpatient Oncology, Hospice, and eventually became a Hospice Chaplain. Upon retirement in the 1990s, she began to volunteer her services for hospice patients.
Becki was also instrumental in the care of various family members. She loved the opportunity to work with the patients and their families, but she didn’t quite know how to face the reality of not being able to “save” every patient. After seeing the stress it left upon her and hearing the stories, her husband suggested she begin journaling. She began to write about what she was hearing, witnessing, and feeling. By 1986, she started penning a column in a local newspaper called “Beyond Statistics,” which became syndicated and led to the creation of her book, Transitions: A Nurse’s Education About Life and Death.

To hear the program, simply click on this link:: Friday at 1 PM PT, 2 PM MT, 3 PM CT, 4 PM ET, or any time afterwards on podcast or apps.

Randy Rolfe's Take Home Tips: Authenticity is most important when dealing with a sick loved one. Those who are hospitalized know that something serious is happening. Be gentle and loving and authentic. In discussing the situation with younger family members, keep the language and ideas age-appropriate. Take time to choose your words carefully. Avoid frightening them or dumping your more complext feelings on them. Think your answers through before you get questions. Or if you already have a child asking a question, ask them to let you get back to them about it and then follow up within an hour or two. Children know when you are sad or preoccupied so be sure to let them know what it is about and that it is not about them.

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