Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's all about the patients

Today was a spectacular day. Each of us had the privilege to spend the day with one of the Soweto nursing sisters. In 5 1/2 hours I made 5 home visits with Nursing Sister Susan and then we took (in her hospice issued car) one of the patients we visited back to the hospice IPU for admission. So, in essence we made 6 very full and highly engaging visits from 9:15 to 3:15 with no breaks, including no lunch (or bathroom breaks).

Each time I've visited our sister hospice I've re-learned the same important lesson; which is how to get back to basics, focusing on the most important issue at hand and not letting real or imagined barriers prevent hospice from happening. With so little, our sister hospice accomplishes so much. As I told Susan, "today magic happened."

I'm still reflecting upon my experiences today and know that it will take me a few days before I'm ready to blog about it. So much to think about and sort through.

What I want you to know is how proud the Hospice Wits staff are of our partnership. At each home we visited today, Susan described me and our hospice just like how a twin sister would be. Several staff have expressed interest in our staff exchange and would love to visit us. All staff are so appreciative of the scrapbooks and photo album we brought. They love seeing your pictures.

No matter what language we speak, deity we pray to, or color our skin is, we are all part of this wonderful human experience. We are bound to each other by our common experience of hospice. Even though we may not have understood the languages spoken at our visits today, we understood the depth of the human interactions and the commonality between all of us. We witnessed remarkable hospice care today. I thought about all of our staff and knew that they were there with us today also. I know our staff do this same remarkable work- the difference is one hospice is in Florida, the other in South Africa.

Thank you all for your support of this partnership and our trip here. We enjoy reading your comments of our posts, so please keep them coming. It helps to let us know that you're reading them and keeps us connected to Suncoast Hospice.

The next two days are filled with two half days of training and meeting individually with staff to provide some 1:1 assistance and coaching. Our team is doing a great job. I know you'd be very proud of their work so far.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your daily experiences. We love following along and can feel your energy here in Florida. I agree that Suncoast Hospice and Hospice of the Wits have so many similarities despite the 9000 mile distance. Thank you for bringing us even closer together through your trip and blog!