Overheard during shift report:
"What is she doing here? What are we doing for her?"
These were benign enough words, but said with with a callous tone, they were enough to upset the family who overheard them. Try asking those questions again with a tone as though the patient doesn't belong on your unit because this person is dying. I think you can see how differently these words can be interpreted. I have news for nurses out there who think this way: Dying is a part of the continuum of life and is as natural as birth. Dying hospice patients belong anywhere they happen to be including homes, nursing homes, medical surgical units, emergency rooms and ICUs. We shouldn't be so put out when someone happens to be dying on our unit.
Contrast the above with a scenario I had from awhile ago: The nurses of a telemetry step down unit wanted to care for their now dying patient. They knew this patient and the family and wanted to be the caregivers honored to give care at the end. Instead of transferring this patient to a more private unit, we allowed this person to remain in that room with providers who cared.
For a mindful exercise, try to put yourself in someone else's shoes. I can guarantee with 100% certainty that some day, you'll be the one in need of a nurse's care at the end of life. Why not pay it forward now?