PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 9

Shelby Criswell '18 is one of several
PA College alumni who work at Hospice &
Community Care. The volunteer depicting
a patient in this photo is Kathryn
Longenecker Fry '59. Kathryn worked at
Hospice for 15 years before continuing
her service as a volunteer.
Burns says the most important part
of her job is to ensure her pediatric
patients are comfortable. But there's
a second part: legacy-making. " We
focus on hopes and wishes. I listen to
what matters most to the family-it
could be taking a family photo or
going to the park as a family. We do
everything we can to fulfill those hopes
and wishes and have worked with
organizations such as Make-A-Wish,
the Hummingbird Program at Penn
State Health Children's Hospital and
the Flight to Remember Foundation, "
she says.
" Your patient is the most important
person while you're with them. I must
make sure I'm a compassionate nurse
and give 100% to my patients. But at
the end of the day, there are boundaries
to preserve. It's important for nurses
involved in end-of-life care to have
their own relief valve, whether it's their
family, doing crafts or meditating, "
Dougherty stresses.
" I have learned the most about life
from people who are dying, " says the
Rev. Sage Olnick '05, BCC, MDiv,
RN, and a Unitarian Universalist
minister. She began her nursing career
as a supervisor working with endstage
dementia patients. " As a nursing
student, I imagined myself working
in maternity, a career focusing on the
beginning of life. But somehow, end of
life called to me. Even when I worked
in acute care, caring for people who
were ill but not necessarily at the end
of their life, I felt pulled toward endof-life
care, " Olnick explains.
In 2009, a mentor suggested she take
a class in clinical pastoral education.
" Those of us who are in health care
don't have the support to care for
people who are dying. How can we
not be affected by the grief and sadness
we see? I want to offer that support
to nurses - being a chaplain who
specializes in end-of-life care is a way
to care for patients, and the nurses
who care for them, in a way that is
meaningful, " she says.
As a chaplain who is also a nurse,
she can help explain medical jargon
for patients and their families. " The
default plan of care is to restore life,
but that's not always how people see
their life. There may not always be
a cure, but there's always faith and
healing, " Olnick explains.
She helps care for the whole person by
helping them identify their goals and
complete advance medical directives,
both of which provide direction to a
patient's care team. " I am certain that
we are much more aware of our own
mortality now that we've lived with the
COVID-19 pandemic for two years.
It's also forced us as a society to think
differently about how we process grief
and the rituals involved in it, " she says.
Preparing Pre-Licensure Students
" PA College helped me develop critical
thinking and clinical skills. With
patients, I'm on my own and need
to make decisions by myself, " Burns
says. " Our doctors rely on us (hospice
nurses) to be their eyes and ears and
to make medication selections and
settings. "
One of the tools the College uses to
prepare pre-licensure students for endof-life
care is a two-part simulation in
the Center for Excellence in Practice.
Lynne Dommel, '86, MSN, RN,
Coordinator of Simulation Education,
PA College Magazine / Summer 2022
9

PA College Magazine - Summer 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PA College Magazine - Summer 2022

Contents
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - Cover1
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - Contents
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 1
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 2
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 3
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 4
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 5
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PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 7
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 8
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 9
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PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - Cover3
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - Cover4
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