Good Morning, Santana!

As we entered our ninth month of working at home due to Covid-19, I wanted to share my experience as a mom and professional, getting through this change to our typical day to day lives. I want to start by saying that I am grateful that I am employed and have a job that I can continue to do from home, which, unfortunately for some, was not an option. Without getting on my soap box, I will keep it short and honest about my experience these past months. This transition has been by far the most frustrating transition with my beautiful 2-year-old boy Santana, period! Like anyone who works in an office, you develop a routine. I'm going to just speak on my morning routine, which looked like the following before the pandemic; get up, get dressed, get my son dressed, drop him off at his grandmother's house, and do my cardio (which is power-walking up a hill to the train, praying I catch it.) I say power walk but probably borderline jogging! I used to do my cardio every day before arriving at the office. After catching up with others on my unit, I really miss that moment when you sit down with your coffee (personally, it's iced coffee or tea for me) where you just relax and take [...]

2021-07-31T12:50:20-04:00November 30th, 2020|Family & Youth, Lived Experience, Pandemic|

Suicide Loss: A Survivor’s Story

It was Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 1997. I was 17-years-old, an only child growing up in a middle-class suburban neighborhood. I had just finished my first year at a local community college. I knew I was not ready to go away to college; I had not declared a major yet, but was that the real reason? Looking back now, I realize that there was more that impacted my decision to stay home during my freshman year of college, and thank God I did. It was early that Monday morning, and I was at my mother's house, attempting to sleep in and get some much-needed rest. The house phone rang, waking me up. "Hello?" No one answered. Again, I asked, "Hello?" Still nothing.  I hung up the phone and attempted to fall back asleep. Five minutes later, the phone rang again. "Hello?" No answer. "Hello?" Silence. Again, I hung up the phone and fell back to sleep. An hour or so had passed, and the phone rang again. I was annoyed this time. I picked up the phone, but before I could even say hello, I heard my Grandmother on the other line, and she sounded worried.  She asked if I had seen or heard from my dad this morning. She said he had gone out for a walk a [...]

2021-07-31T12:49:59-04:00November 20th, 2020|Lived Experience, Suicide Prevention|

Lived Experience

Author: Hunter Robbins, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) September is National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. This is a time to highlight the work being done to prevent suicide, spread awareness about helpful initiatives, and share resources within our communities. It is also a time to remember the importance of those with lived experience. Lived experience as it pertains to suicide usually means one of two things: either you have lost someone to suicide (a survivor of suicide), or you have attempted suicide yourself and survived. Unfortunately, when we talk about suicide, those with lived experience are often left out of the conversation. Being a survivor of any traumatic experience is not easy. In 2018, there were 48,433 Americans who died by suicide, and a staggering 1.4 million who attempted suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. To add to that, studies show that for every death by suicide, there are up to 135 people who can be affected by it. This means that in 2018, up to 8 million people could be considered to have lived experience. Why is it important to highlight lived experience? Studies show that after an individual dies by suicide, there could be a significant increase of suicide risk for close friends and family. There is [...]

2021-07-31T12:49:48-04:00September 9th, 2020|Lived Experience, Suicide Prevention|

Compassion Fatigue When Caring for Dying Patients

by Jennifer Forik, MSN, CRNP, ANP-BC When I am asked what I do for a living, I enthusiastically and proudly say, “I’m a palliative care nurse practitioner!” Unfortunately, I usually do not receive the same upbeat response. I usually am told, “Oh wow, that’s a tough job” or, “Oh, so you care for people at the end of life?” Yes! Isn’t that amazing?   Palliative care is a type of medical care that helps with symptom management from chronic illnesses, and guides discussions around goals of care with patients. This type of decision-making allows the patients to decide on how they would like to proceed with their medical treatment. Sometimes patients decide that hospice care is the best option for them (Hospice care focuses on the comfort of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient's pain and symptoms, while to their emotional and spiritual needs).  So, how hard is it to care for people at the end of their life? The answer, in a nutshell? It’s very hard. Nursing is a calling; nurses are passionate about their profession. There have been several times in my career as a palliative care nurse practitioner that I have sat at the bedside of a dying patient and held their hand until they passed, or until family members were able to make it [...]

2021-07-31T13:02:48-04:00September 20th, 2019|Lived Experience, Workplace Mental Health|
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