Trish Matthews

Just wanted to reflect on the last lessons.  I love the books by Ira Byock, especially Dying Well and Best Care Possible.  He states that dying well is more than symptom management – and that is where chaplains come in.  I love the idea, which is not new to me, of providing for all the senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, etc.  I also have used and like Byock’s five tasks of dying – Forgive me, I forgive you, I love you, thank you, good-bye.  I am not familiar with the go wish cards and wrote down the website to check it out.  I also wanted to mention that our hospital uses the ELNEC classes to train nurses in end of life care.  We sent a nurse to be trained as a trainer and hold bi-annual trainings to prepare our staff for this important time.

I will always be a proponent of excellent end of life care.  Offering prayer, music, religious rituals, privacy, pain relief, and ministering to the families is so important as someone makes that last step.  Offering all the time needed after a death is also important and helping with connections to funeral homes and the ME if necessary.

I also wanted to comment on the class as a whole.  I am disappointed in the lack of rigourous discussion and reflection.  I think I ended up being the only person in the class (perhaps).  Anyway, it has been good reading and personal reflecting, and for that I am grateful.