Providing Immediate Comfort and Support
When patients and families call Arbor Hospice, they are sometimes looking for immediate comfort and support. We are proud to be invited into the lives of our patients, and offer a reassuring presence. Each day, Arbor Hospice provides compassion to families like the one shared by Arbor Hospice Admission Nurse Kristina Kosta whose focus is on assessing eligibility for hospice services and resolving immediate concerns.
I arrived at an 86-year-old woman’s home for her admission visit to Arbor Hospice. The patient was in her bed moaning in pain. She had fallen and fractured at least one rib in the days prior to calling Arbor Hospice. The patient was joined by her son and daughter, who each had differing opinions on their mother’s care. The son understood that his mother was 86 and nearing the end of her life. He wanted his mother to be comfortable and focus on quality of life. The daughter was more conflicted. It was difficult for her to comprehend the drastic change in her mother’s condition. Days before, her mother was weeding her garden and cutting her grass. The daughter asked questions and needed more time to understand hospice. I answered her questions and immediately tended to the patient.
The patient was experiencing pain which she rated a “nine” on a ten-point scale, and movement made it worse. Once I began assessing the situation, I stepped into action. I contacted the Arbor Hospice medical director and received permission to begin pain medication. Within an hour, the patient rated her pain at a six.
Next, I learned that the patient was taking a water pill and making frequent trips to the restroom. I explained to the son and daughter that the water pill was not helping their mother. Together, we decided to stop the water pill. I called the Arbor Hospice office and ordered a bedside commode. The commode was delivered within two hours and immediately eliminated the patient’s long walk to the restroom.
By the time I left the patient’s home two hours after I arrived, the patient, son and daughter had found relief.
The next day, I learned that the patient’s pain had spiked overnight. The patient’s family called our on-call staff and they stepped right in. The on-call team ordered a Fentanyl Patch, picked it up from a local pharmacy and delivered it in the middle of the night. Within 12 hours of the patient’s admission to Arbor Hospice, the patient rated her pain at zero, completely gone.
At Arbor Hospice, there is great satisfaction in providing comfort to patients and their families. We all work together, putting our patients and families first. The comfort, emotionally, physically and spiritually of our patients and families is our highest priority.
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