Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Gift of Knowledge - Help Celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Day 2016

Beep... Beep... Beep... went the overcrowded IV pole. I walked in the room mesmerized by the tangle of tubes and fluids. Several family and friends had gathered and were chatting. My patient was loved by many. She had been on the oncology floor with us several times. I always liked being her nurse; we loved to talk and laugh. During this stay I talked to her all the time, yet she never replied. She was lying comfortably in bed with her eyes closed. 

While figuring out the IV situation some of the visitors had started watching me and were commenting on the entanglement. Then the doctors came in. I stopped tracing the IV-lines to let the family and friends focus on them. I knew why they were there. The doctors had run out of options.  They needed to know what to do next.

One of the doctors started explaining the situation.

I held my breath...

Then, something wonderful happened! One of the women in the room stood up and said, “I am her health care proxy. I can tell you what she wants.”

She actually stood up! She knew what to do. My heart was singing... I went back to work at the IV pole with tears in my eyes. (Based on a true story - Nancy Aureli RN)

Health care decisions must be made by someone. If you are unable to communicate, healthcare professionals will look to see if you have a completed Health Care Proxy. Help celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16, by filling out a Health Care Proxy form today.

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