Nurse Feature: A Patient's Dying Wish
My name is Anne Hafner. I am a Registered Nurse and have spent the majority of my nursing career working in the Intensive Care Unit. I also worked some of those years as a travel nurse. I am the mother of four children aged 10-17 and a wife to Dan for 20 years. I have been employed with PRN Healthcare for 24 years in some capacity. I’ve worked in various settings such as Occupational Health, Long Term Care, ICU, and Home Health.
Choosing to be a nurse has been one of the best decisions I have made. I have loved the flexibility of my job. I have been able to work in so many different fields of nursing.
Nursing to me is such an amazing career choice. I have been able to be present to families during some very tough times. I have relied on my faith and sharing my knowledge to help navigate patients and their families through some terrible situations.
I remember working at St Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee. We had a young patient admitted to the ICU who had been recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. She knew that she did not have very long to live. She was telling us that she was supposed to marry the man of her dreams not be in the hospital. I was working the night shift at the time and he came to visit also talking about their wedding plans. He wanted to marry her, his best friend before she died. Knowing she did not have long to live our night shift team coordinated the chaplain to meet us that evening to help make the wedding happen. It was amazing to see the teamwork at the hospital come together and have a wedding in the patient’s intensive care room. We were able to find a veil, make-up, get her hair done, decorations, and even a cake. Her fiancé showed up in his finest attire and we were able to give them the wedding that they did not think was possible.
She passed away at such a young age with a peaceful heart. Her husband thanked us. He said that there will be some happy memories mixed in with one of the saddest times of his life. Sadly, the young woman passed away 20 hours later as we worked tirelessly to stop her internal hemorrhaging.
Nursing has some very, very difficult moments. Knowing that I am able to provide some peace and comfort at these times is what makes nursing so special to me. The relationships made during these times are amazing.