Natural-born caregiver Hailee Busk is not your average twenty-something. As a full time mother of twins and a part time nurse for Partners In Care, this super mom has a big life.
MRO:Hailee, you’re working in a very specialized area of nursing. How did you find yourself interested in end-of-life care?
Hailee:My “aha” moment came towards the end of my schooling when I spent about six weeks with a Partners In Care nurse. Working alongside her seeing hospice patients helped me quickly realize this was where I needto be. For me, it’s all about making a difference in the lives of my patients and their families. That is accomplished through compassionate care that includes educating people about what is going on, what to expect, and how to achieve a level of understanding so they can live as fully and comfortably as possible even in a fragile condition. I have a lot of love to give and have a strong sense of purpose in my life and in this work.
MRO:I can’t imagine raising twin toddlers and being a dedicated nurse simultaneously! Walk us through a typical day for you.
Hailee:Life. Is. Busy! As a working momma of twins, you can only imagine, right? My husband works long days, so he is up and off to work before the sun comes up so it’s up to me to get the rest of us ready and out the door on time. I usually wake up early enough to have my coffee and “me” time before the twins wake up. Once they wake up, it’s go – go – go all day long. After seeing several patients in their homes, it’s time for me to pick up my kiddos from daycare. That’s when “working mom” gets put on hold until “twin mom” duties are done for the night. It’s then that I can finish whatever needs to be done with work. But that is also my time to unwind and rewind with my husband. My time with my family is very precious and it’s important to know how to have that work and home separation.
MRO:Being a new mom, have you noticed any connection between bringing new souls into this world, and helping old souls on their way out?
Hailee:Yes, it is quite the close connection when you really think about it. It’s both an overwhelming and heartwarming feeling you get when you experience these moments. My husband’s grandfather was on hospice for a short time, and as he peacefully made his way out of this world, our twins entered this world—six weeks early. Now that, though difficult, was quite an angelic experience.
MRO:Reflecting on the experience of your own family member’s death and also caring for the dying, how do you experience grief as a hospice nurse?
Hailee:Hospice nurses are no different from anyone else when it comes to grieving a death. But while it’s not normal for people to be around death and dying all the time, there is definitely grief in this field and you know that coming into it. That’s why it not only takes a strong and special person to be a nurse, but especially to be a hospice nurse. We often take care of very sick and fragile people who depend on us physically, mentally, and emotionally. But my team at Partners In Care is an important support. Not to mention it’s incredibly rewarding when patients and families allow me into their lives and homes and trust me to help them through challenging times.
MRO:Why do you think death is a hard topic to discuss? Why is it important that people know about the benefits of hospice care?
Hailee:I think there are many people out there who think hospice care means giving up hope. I’ve heard this firsthand, and it is not that. We are human; we are afraid of the unknown, and it’s uncomfortable for some people to talk about it. Really what it comes down to is educating the community on how to prepare for the end of life. Hospice offers that opportunity for both the patient and their loved ones to make the most of this important time. They can put their trust and confidence in us because we truly have expertise and experience in this specialized field.
MRO: What do you want your patients and families to understand about end-of-life care?
Hailee:Don’t be afraid to ask questions or express your feelings. This can be a whole new experience for you, but you are not alone and there will always be someone to help guide you.
Do you have questions about what to expect and how to prepare? Call Friends of Hospice! (541) 410-3918.