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Hospice Austin’s Blog

Hospice Austin nurses Patricia Smith and Emma Perry were honored at the Austin American-Statesman’s Third Annual Recognizing Nurses Best in Class Awards Gala in the Hospice/Home Health category. The Statesman’s Recognizing Nurses celebration commemorates the Austin metro area’s exceptional local nurses and the work they do, day in and day out.

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She’s known as “the country nurse.” Jacque Shroyer, who drives about 500 miles a week, visits patients in Cedar Creek, San Marcos, Kyle and Buda and all spots in between.  “My jeep has 182,000 miles on it and I got it brand new five years ago,” she says with a chuckle. 

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Apr 09

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Paying Homage

I showed up for my afternoon shift at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House where my mother-in-law died more than 15 years ago. The walkway is made of bricks. Many of them contain names and life dates of people who had died at the hospice. Recent rains had caused dirt, leaves, and crushed granite to wash out of the shrubbery beds and onto the walkway.I decided to sweep the bricks as a prelude to visiting patients. It was a service to the dead, not to the living, grieving, and suffering people I would later visit.

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One of my most memorable experiences was when I provided 11th-hour relief for a young man in his 20’s with brain cancer. Each time he would cough, his head would become very red in color and he would be in obvious distress.

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Each time  I knock on a patient’s door at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House, I wonder what is happening on the other side. I never know quite what to expect. I take a deep breath, walk in, and ask if they – the family, the patient – need anything.

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