I think it’s a great idea to share stories and learn from each other. I learn something new with every case. It’s funny, because nobody but a hospice nurse truly understands what its really like to be there with dying patients.
Here's little story:
I just began a shift. The patient was an elderly female. She was actively dying. Doing the fish out of water breathing; her eyes at half mast. I was wearing an angel pin for the first time that a family member had given me on another case. I knew that (the patient) was going any minute and before I could even do my assessment, I stood next to her, put my hand on her forehead and held her hand. I said to her, "Go ahead, go see the angels. They are right there waiting." Well, at that moment, she closed her eyes, a tear came flowing from her left eye and she was gone, just like that. So quick.
I never wore that angel pin again. It just didn't feel right for some reason.