Memorial Day weekend marked the unofficial start of summer. Driving across the countryside last weekend I saw people rafting, barbecuing, motorcycling, and soaking up the sun. Soon there will be fireworks, vacations, and family gatherings. These are the things of summer season.
There are over 100,000 Americans currently on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Every day 12 people die waiting for a kidney. The good news is that adults with two healthy kidneys can donate one to save the life of a known recipient (directed donation) or unknown recipient (non-directed donation).
Hospice work moves fast. A person is given a diagnosis of six months or less to live. The team moves in with rapid pace: managing medications and equipment for comfort; assessing emotional and spiritual needs; swiftly building trust to provide intimate personal care; creating a holistic environment for patient and family to move through this short time.
Do they talk slowly and clearly enough for an elderly caller to follow along? Do they show sincere emotion in their tone? These are two qualities Director of Business Development Della Miller is looking for when she recruits new talent for the Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care call center.
Memorial Day, for me, is a day of humility. I live in a great country with unparalleled freedom. I didn't earn that freedom. I wave a flag striped in red reminding me of the sacrifice of those who paid for my freedom. In the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln honored fallen soldiers by acknowledging "they gave the last full measure of devotion". Indeed, to die for one's cause is the ultimate act of devotion.
Physicians got into the business of healthcare to save lives. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, and physicians need to break the difficult news that a cure is not available. In a best-case scenario, the physician is able to make a referral to hospice care early, so their patient can begin receiving additional care in their residence and their family can get extra support.