11 January 2013

A Lesson In Dying ~ Nurse's Cancer as Lessons

NYTimes photos and video A Lesson in Dying by Poh Si Teng and Ilana Panich-Linsman and related story As Nurse Lay Dying, Offering Herself as Instruction in Caring by Abby Goodnough spotlights nurse Martha Keochareon's final actions helping fellow healthcare pros understand illness from a patient’s perspective...
"I have cancer,” she said after introducing herself, “and I’m wondering if you’ll need somebody to do a case study on, a hospice patient.” Perhaps some nursing students “just want to feel what a tumor feels like,” she went on. Or they could learn something about hospice care, which aims to help terminally ill people die comfortably at home. “Maybe you’ll have some ambitious student that wants to do a project. [...] Ms. Keochareon wanted more as she prepared to die. The project she envisioned would be not just for students, but also for her -- a way to squeeze one more chapter out of life. Spending time with the dying is not fundamental to nurse training, partly because there are not enough clinical settings to provide the experience."

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