Hello, I would love to thank you for your vision. This is so incredible, and has found me at a time in my career, that I have wanted to scream to the world how important this conversation is. I have been a Hospice nurse for 10+ years, and knew there needed to be change before someone’s last days. So I sought out a career in Palliative care, in the hospital setting, in hopes to helping our patients voices be heard, while they still can. It has been a wonderful, privileged journey, and your engage with grace, is such an awesome stretch to more and more people. I too, sat at lunch with my 5 best girlfriends, and discussed these questions, and the Five Wishes. Being the ‘nurse’ friend, I explained that I am sure that if one of us is sick, the others will look to me for advice on what to do next. I told them if that was the case, I needed to know what THEY would wish for, not what I thought they would want, or what I would want. Having this conversation with them, with all of us together, was very enlightening. Some shared thoughts I would have never known. This led to a dinner party with the spouses, and filling out their Advanced Directives, and lots of tears, and conversation. I am sure, each of us will know what each other will want, in case they can not tell us. In the professional arena, in the last year, our hospital, actually, a very driven Chaplain, and Palliative care nurse, have attempted to change the norm. We have had mandatory in-services for nursing and respiratory staff on Advanced Directives, what they are, what they mean, etc. We use the words, “Wishes”, and the “Keepers of your wishes”. 1 year ago, Advanced directive were assessed, only 52% of the time on our hospitalized patients. After our efforts in this past year, with engagement from our administrators, we have 88% evidence of Advanced Directive assessment, and actually 58% of those assessed, actually are placed on the chart!!!! It has been incredible. We have a way to go to reach 100%, but could never have imagined how much of a difference we could have made. Our medical staff as well as 2 local Extended Care facilities have asked for the inservice to help them understand as well. Your Engage with Grace is exactly what we need to take this to a different level. I am so excited to share your site with anyone I can, and all at my organization. Maybe we can commit to sharing this slide in all of our Presentations in our hospital, then maybe even, the five hospitals in our region. Thank You so much for your time and ideas, and I will share with you in a few weeks what we have done with your ideas.
-Karla Shearer, 11/27/2008