. : Clémence Rheaume (Montreal)
My patient, “Mr.D.”, had cancer and was referred to me for symptom control and was followed for 9 months as of March 2011. He was seen at least once each month and would regularly call whenever he had issues around his medications, his symptoms or just to be reassured. This reassurance allowed him to stay home longer and avoid unnecessary emergency visits. I once asked a CLSC nurse to verify his Oxygen saturation and then got oxygen installed at his home. During one visit we discussed the decision to sell his chalet and move to Montreal where he would be closer to his caregiver and his hospital.
During another visit, with his illness progressing, it became clear that we needed to find him a bed on the palliative care unit or in an outside palliative care hospice once necessary. There were unfortunately no beds available, however we sent him to emergency and informed the consultation team on his worsening status. Later on, I checked again the bed status. One had just opened on the unit, where he could finally be admitted. Finally, his family was able to gather around him, and he passed away that very same day. His family expressed their deepest gratitude for that last, cherished moment together.Clémence Rheaume, RN, B.Sc., CHPCN(C) Montreal, QC McGill University Health Centre, Montreal General Hospital Pivot Nurse in Palliative Care Day Hospital