A family begins to talk... See the whole film at http://smithcreekstudios.com/wider_view/ella_mays.asp

A family begins to talk… See the whole film at

Those of us working in healthcare, independent on our roles, need to look deep into our personal values and preferences as it relates to end-of-life and get the dialogue and conversations started within our own families and direct contacts.  Not enough people in our county are willing to have these conversations, yet everyone wants to complain about it or have legislative rulings made on the topic.  Why not just start talking? We have power in numbers.

We talk about graduation plans, wedding plans and many other life changing events.  We prepare our children to drive an automobile through training.  We plan our financial future with expert guidance that we generally seek out in advance.  Why not talk about end-of-life fears, concerns, wishes and all of it throughout our life span?  You think we don’t fear for our children’s lives as they drive off for their first solo trip?  Of course we do, we just don’t dwell on it.  Let’s get in the habit of taking it a step further, let’s talk about the “what-ifs.”

We don’t have to make up scenarios about dying; there are enough out there in the media.  Watch the news not just for the purpose of knowing what is going on, but let it guide our conversations.  Let our spouses, our kids, our sisters and brothers know what we think about certain situations; the ethical considerations, our point of view.  Go ahead, talk.  Talk about it all.  Talk about the disappearing plane, how we feel about it, what our perspective is based on each different passenger’s journey and where they were in the journey.  Talk about the high speed crash, the overdose, the cancer fighters and those that choose not to fight very hard or long.  Just talk about it!  We all think about it.

Maybe if we all start talking about it, we can make the transitions a little easier for someone.  That someone may be a daughter, a son, a parent, a sibling or it may even be the healthcare worker that is trying to sort out their own thoughts, beliefs and feelings while they deal with the family and patient that is going through an end-of-life process.  Maybe, if we talk, we can become stronger as a society, more proactive and more open in dealing with the subject of dying that is uncomfortable for many.  So next time the opportunity rears its head, take it, and start the conversation.

Our Guest Blogger this week is Barbara Orantes R.N., Nurse Manager, Citizens Medical Center, Victoria, Texas. Interesting in that I had another person suggest end-of-life planning as a blog topic this week.

Join us for a real-time discussion about the rather grave question raised by this essay on Tuesday from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. See Discussion and SL tabs above for details. Link to the virtual meeting room: http://tinyurl.com/cjfx9ag.