Musical selection: Etude #3 in E ("Tristesse"), Opus 10, by Frederic Francois Chopin, courtesy of Classical MIDI Archives, © 1999 Pierre R. Schwob

A big thanks to Michele Irvine from West Perth, Australia, for this touching poem. Michele is an enrolled nurse studying for her RN at Edith Cowan University in Churchlands

THE DYING PATIENT© 1998 by Michele Irvine

Using Jean Watson's carative factor 10.

Bill is only 42
With HIV, what do we do?
Factor 10's the way to go
It's all that's left of what we know.
Drugs can certainly help his pain
And settle him down for you to gain
Some knowledge of how he's really feeling,
To assist you in the process of healing.
It's very quiet, it's late at night,
No one's around, the time is right.
The wellness of his soul's in need
Let him talk whilst you take heed.
Communication's what it's all about
Give him encouragement to let it out.
His feelings of denial, anger too,
Depression as well, will all come through.
And finally acceptance if you show you care.
With your concern, he'll be aware.
That you can really empathize
The world around him, through his own eyes
If he wants to pray, that's O.K
Help him feel strong, do it his way.
Accept his guilt, don't ever judge
Always stay neutral, don't hold a grudge.
His inner self has reached a calm
Your spiritual comfort is like a balm.
To soothe the mind and cleanse the soul,
This is our aim, this is our goal.
For him to die a death in peace,
Against his family, the anger to cease.
They are an important part of your care,
Include them, help them, it's only fair.
They're the ones that are left behind
It can comfort immensely, if you are kind.
Not just acting as referee
But help both sides, so each can see.
The love within themselves to share
With those around, it's spiritual care.
Believe in yourself, and you'll be surprised,
The nurse in you has another side.
Of deeper immeasurable inner powers
And all it takes from you is hours.
To die with dignity is a patient's right,
Preserve this please with all your might
So, don't treat him like, with AIDS, he's dying,
Instead, he's living with HIV, it's trying!
Your positive energy will flow from you
To him, then others, it's really true.
An aura of peace is what you've mended
His inner suffering, has finally ended.

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