Amy Berner, RN team leader at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, began her nursing career in cardiac, oncology, and medical surgical nursing before finding her calling in hospice care.
“For me, it was more about taking care of the patient and making a difference when it comes to end-of-life care. In general, nursing does not focus on hospice care, it’s more focused on healing and leaving the hospital, so hospice chose me,” Amy said. “In hospice, you are there for comfort care at the end of life. It’s more rewarding in hospice care. From the appreciation families show, you know you are making a difference.”
Amy recalled two special patients whom she had the privilege of caring for and helping to make their end-of-life wishes come true. One patient wanted one more ride in his convertible, and the Ohio’s Hospice care team was able to support him in making that ride happen. Another patient wanted her favorite cherry pie, which Amy brought in for her.
“I have worked in two hospitals and in a range of backgrounds from cardiac and education to management and precepting,” Amy said. “I think hospice chooses you. It is a career field that many do not look at because you have to flip the switch when you’re a nurse to focus on the quality care.”
Amy said her father was the biggest influence on her career path, as he worked in a hospital as well. “My grandfather would tell me that I would sit on his lap and say that I loved everybody and cared for the world,” Amy said. “I have always had that caretaker role and wanted to make a difference.”
For Amy, taking care of patients and walking the journey with them makes each day special.
“Sometimes it is difficult for patients and families, but allowing them to express their emotions is important,” Amy said. “The gratitude they share is rewarding.”