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I remember my first day at Hospice of East Texas in May 2016. When I got home, I remember I cried about the patient I had cared for that day. He was a young male (just a few years older than me), with his 4-year-old at his bedside. I remember my husband saying “See, I knew you couldn’t do this! You get attached too easily.” He was right… I do get attached easily, but despite the tears and emotions, I knew this is where I needed to be.

I knew I needed to be at Hospice of East Texas because I wanted to support the patient and the family in their time of loss. Just as was done for my husband and me when we lost his Stepdad at Homeplace, and his grandparents on homecare services. I knew I wanted the opportunity to give the patient and family everything I could to make their final days, the best and most comfortable days.

Before coming to Hospice of East Texas, death and dying was something that I had only experienced a few times. During my first year as a hospice nurse, my best friend had unexpectedly lost her husband and was a widow at 29, leaving behind their 6-month-old. Most recently my cousin had to make the difficult decision to withdraw life support and place her husband in inpatient hospice. While these experiences were not ones that I was prepared for, it influenced the nurse I am today, and most importantly to be an advocate for Hospice of East Texas. I learned life is not promised, and death is inevitable, no matter your age. I also learned that we as hospice providers, only get one shot at providing the best experience for our patients and their families during their darkest days, while also providing the patient with the dignity they deserve.

I have met patients that literally only had a few hours, days, or months before they passed. They impacted my life in more ways than one, and the time I had with them will never be forgotten. It was an honor to be entrusted to care for them in their final days.

While I’m no longer at the bedside, there is no doubt in my mind that our homecare team provides this same type of care to our patients. I am happy to know that our patients are in the best of hands with the dedicated care team that we have at Hospice of East Texas. Their dedication, compassion, and professionalism is what sets Hospice of East Texas apart, and I am blessed to work alongside them.