Nursing Story

A Story written by a Nurse about her Personal Experience!chris_bowman

By Christine Bowman, BSN, RNC-NIC (Special Care Nursery)

Chris, as most of her peers call her, shares how nurses and the profession of nursing made a difference in her ‘personal story’. She shares how principals of CVMC’s Professional Nursing Practice Model applied to her situation.

What Chris wrote:

“I had a recent experience in which I was in a professional/personal situation involving my elderly father. I always knew that living 600 miles apart was going to play a role in how I would support my family during a health crisis. Looking back on the situation, things happened quickly beginning in the ER of CVMC. I couldn’t have asked for more support from everyone here at CVMC. We went from unresolved pneumonia to stage 4 lung cancer in a matter of an hour. I realized upon looking at my father lying on the hospital gurney that he already had ‘the color of cancer’. I knew that my mother and sister were going to need me to be the nurse in charge of dad’s care and that care was going to be an end-of-life journey. Never having faced something like this before, there were a lot of thoughts running through my mind. We all agreed on pain management being top priority followed by alleviating my father’s struggle to breathe.

The following day we flew by private-jet service back home to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Knowing this was going to be my father’s last night at home was difficult. Situations came up where you shift your focus to the spouse that will be left to carry on. My mother is a retired RN, and she was determined not to show my father any of her churning emotions. From my father’s prospective, he did not want anything done, or in his words: ‘let nature take its course’. That request was going to prove difficult for the hospital staff as well as some of the family. We were all able to see my father before we left for Indiana. The four grandchildren came from as far as Troutman, Fayetteville, Wilmington, and Miami. Lots of tears, laughter, and memories were shared.

It took us several days of testing, doctors, and procedures for everyone to realize where we ultimately needed to be … on the Hospice floor. As a nurse and daughter that made me realize how much love and support is needed just to get to the point of being allowed to die. You respect where health professionals are coming from in their pursuit of situation related knowledge. Ultimately, you appreciate their respect for what the patient and the family want, like with my father, to be allowed to die with dignity and without pain in midst of his family.

To me, the ART OF NURSING came into place early as I was trying to ease care of my father from my mother. Throughout my father’s journey, as his body slowly lost its function, there were more stories shared and memories re-lived. The greatest help to us was the booklet provided by the oncology unit! I never realized that there are so many things that are important for the living that aren’t as important to the dying, which is reflected when considering the PATIENT PERSPECTIVE. Letting go of food, fluids, and activity are hard. But, once you realize it is not about you, the journey becomes easier.

Once the testing, biopsy, lab work, and x-rays, all part of the SCIENCE OF NURSING were completed, what was left in the case of my father were the day-to-day comforts, or the ART OF NURSING. A simple thing like taking care of dry lips, a pillow under a sore hip, and making sure the pain medicine was given on time. In my father’s case, our optimal outcome was for him to die with dignity. I feel that we accomplished just that and have remained a strong intact family throughout. You never know where the end-of-life journey will take you, but I realize now that there is a beginning and an end with many unknowns in-between. I feel that my father was extraordinary man that left behind a legacy of loving exceptional people.” 

CVMC’s revised Professional Nursing Practice Model


To read more details about the CVMC Professional Nursing Practice Model, click the following link: