Saturday, January 16, 2010

On-call visit

Fresh back from vacation, I've been on-call today since 8 this morning and have10 1/2 hours to go. Not that I'm counting. Since the phone has been quiet the last few times I was on-call, I figured my time was about up. And I was right. The phone rang this afternoon and I answered with resignation. Most on-call visits deal with caregiving needs, a death at a facility (if the RN is busy and a family requests support), or the dreaded emergency respite situation. When I first get called, I dread what I'll be asked to do, mostly because I hate being on-call. However, I'm usually glad that I could help the patient/family once the visit is over. This time when the triage RN called, I breathed a sigh of relief because the situation was right up my alley: a bereavement visit. I met with the widow for over 3 hours and probably could have stayed longer. She just needed to talk. Her husband died yesterday and the reality is hitting her now. I told her about follow up through our bereavement program, ie support group or bereavement volunteer. She said it had been so helpful talking to me, she actually asked if I could be her bereavement volunteer. I explained that I wouldn't be allowed to but I was sure we could line up a great volunteer for her. I walked away knowing that I had made a difference in that woman's life. Think bereavement is my calling?

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