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Replenishing Ourselves While Caring for Others

Blessing of the Hands

Dear Friends,

While providing hospice care is a privilege for our staff, it is often heart-wrenching work which can lead to burn-out if we don’t take steps to replenish ourselves while honoring our patients. At the start of weekly team meetings, chaplains lead staff in a centering activity: remembering patients who died and then listening to a song, reading a poem, or taking turns reading a stanza aloud. The teams hold quarterly memorial services. Periodically we bring in meditation or massage therapists.

 

Chaplains offered a Blessing of the Work recently where they washed and blessed employee’s hands in scented water and dried them with another blessing.

 

Starting this year, after each quarterly Hospice Austin all-staff meeting, employees are given the opportunity to remember and honor our patients by selecting one or more blue ribbons and taking a contemplative “Walk to Remember.” Each ribbon is then affixed to an explanatory note and sent to a patient’s primary caregiver about four months after the patient has died. Nurse Mary Gilmore received a call recently from a patient’s spouse who said she would keep the ribbon forever.

 

We can never really do enough to support our staff who do this difficult work. I am so grateful for all our outstanding employees and the incredible difference they make, every day, in the lives of our patients and families.

 

 

 

 

Marjorie Mulanax
Executive Director


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