Meeting Patients Where They Are
“Everyone in health care needs to find their niche. Mine is Hospice,” said clinical educator Alyssa Pappadio, RN. “It’s where I want to be.”
Catholic Health’s Good Shepherd Hospice has just completed its 20th year of operations since merging the hospitals’ separate hospice and palliative care programs. Most hospice care is administered in the home environment. When care is too difficult to manage at home, Catholic Health has two inpatient facilities. Alyssa has experience in all environments.
“I already had several years of experience in nursing and certainly had some experience with end-of-life situations,” said Alyssa. “But with hospice care that’s the situation every day. We’re there to bring calm and comfort to our patients and their families as they travel to the ultimate journey. This is the type of nursing I am drawn to.”
After years as a hospice nurse, Alyssa was promoted to clinical educator. She now trains staff in Good Shepherd’s unique approach to hospice care; the pain and symptom management protocols, medical supply & equipment utilization and regulatory standards of care.
“Hospice patients and their families need more than palliative care,” explained Alyssa. “They need holistic care—real empathy and support. You listen to them, you tune in. As I tell my trainees, you need to meet patients where they are.”
The role could be intimidating, even to a seasoned health care professional. Yet Alyssa finds it both rewarding and motivating. “Honestly, you can’t work in hospice care without loving it. That may sound odd to the uninitiated, but the work we do taps into the soul. We replace fear with comfort, dignity and peace of mind.”
It’s plain to see Alyssa lives the Catholic Health mission every day.