Rhonda Gordon is a Nurse Case Manager, in charge of the care for Angels Grace Hospice’s patients across the board. She coordinates the care of the social worker, the chaplains, nurses’ aides, and manages the physical care for the patients.
It’s a team approach, relying on team members. They have a chaplain, a social worker, and volunteers. There are so many times that people come on to hospice and they’re so afraid that their families are fearful. They don’t know what the future holds and so, what they’re able to do, is walk with them down that path, and take the journey with them. They’re able to use the whole team to listen to them, to educate, and then they’re not so afraid, just so thankful. But it’s such a humbling experience for Rhonda and her team.
They all feel that the end of life is a sacred time and then it’s such an honor for them to be able to take care of people at that time and be allowed into their home, into their intimate circle with their family, that they often feel they become part of the family. And that’s how they are perceived.
What they try to do in hospice is personalized. What does a good death mean to you? They can even ask their patient, their families, “What does that mean to you?” Most of them, it’s not being in pain, it’s not being afraid, it’s being in familiar surroundings.
It’s important to have their loved ones around them, to ease out and just very peacefully pass from this world to the next. Most of the time they’re able to achieve that for their patients.