This is my goals of care conversation with my mom. I have been a RN for over ten years and had many experiences working in Med/Surge, ICU and most recently Palliative and Hospice care. I feel that all of these experiences helped prepare me to have a goals of care conversation with my mom. But what also prepared me for this is my own personal and professional values and ethics- most importantly respect and humility.
Respect is defined as: a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious and should be treated in an appropriate way.
Humility is defined as: the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people.
The conversation took place at my mom’s dining room table. It was a planned conversation; my mom does not like surprises. I do feel that as uncomfortable as these conversations may be that they need to be given the respect they deserve in the form of preparation and also it is more uncomfortable not having these conversations. My mom was able to let me know what represents quality of life to her, what gets her out of bed in the morning. These include: spending time with her children and grandchildren, Sunday drives to the beach, sitting on her porch with friends and preparing dinners for her and her friends. She was able to say that if she was faced with a serious illness or medical condition what her wishes for treatment are. My mom then went on to say that she is sorry that she is not able to leave me any monetary gifts when she passes away. I did let her know that she just gave me the best gift, peace of mind, in those quiet moments after she passes away.
Connie, RN CHPN