What makes a best day possible?
Holding the hand of someone experiencing final days, says Marcella Goin, RN, a hospice nurse with the inpatient hospice center at VNA.
She is grateful to be hands-on with the families VNA serves and feels it’s her calling. Having worked as an ICU nurse earlier in her career, she grappled with the reality that sometimes a life cannot be saved. And she yearned to do more for her patients and families. She yearned to offer a deeper level of comfort in life’s terribly difficult moments.
This is where her 11+ year time with VNA of NWI has been exceptionally fulfilling: “With all of us working together as a team, we can bring peace to a patient at the end of life,” she says. “It’s a very good cause. And when everyone feels at peace, that’s a best day.”
Marcella believes that hospice is a unique type of care due to the strain patients and their families experience. Having a loved one approach end-oflife is extremely difficult, she adds. The demands of caregiving, the physical changes that require attention, the sense of impending loss, and the spiritual awareness that accompany the final journey require so much focus from families and caregivers, says Marcella. “We emphasize letting a spouse be a spouse without the exhausting caregiving burden— letting the family focus on what matters most.”
She says patients and family members need the support and freedom to turn to what counts in each passing moment—and that’s the gift the VNA hospice teams offer up every day. “I love allowing families to be with their loved ones and helping to guide and support them on this journey.”
In a word, Marcella believes strongly that hospice is about comfort. Controlling pain is crucial, she feels. Paying attention to needs as they arise and being present for those on the journey is everything. Surrounding a patient and family with a holistic, compassionate team helps ensure full-circle care. “Our team really works together,” she notes, and she is proud of the knowledge and dedication of VNA caregivers who bring light into so many lives. She adds, “The job makes me appreciate everything about life—every day.”