Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Étoiles de Confort (Stars of Comfort) Quilt

“Étoiles de Confort”
“Stars of Comfort” Quilt
A fundraising raffle to help support Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s
We Honor Veterans Program

The Pajaro Valley Quilt Association (PVQA) has generously donated to Hospice of Santa Cruz County an exquisite quilt entitled Etoiles de Confort (Stars of Comfort). This priceless quilt will be raffled to help raise needed funds to support our Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s We Honor Veterans program.

This custom queen sized quilt, designed by Betty Whitman, features a stunning collection of cotton, French provincial fabrics which profile 38 machined-pieced stars (each made by a member of PVQA).  The quilted stars, featuring popular French-country colors of blue, red and yellow, are set on a delicate off-white print which serves as the backdrop for the dramatic star medallion created by Kristie Shulman.

The name of the quilt Etoiles de Confort (Stars of Comfort) has three meanings:

Stars of Comfort honors our Veterans.  Men and women of the armed forces are true shining stars. Without their service we would not have the comfort of home and country that we love and enjoy!

Stars of Comfort honors those who comfort the dying.  All family members, caregivers truly are the Stars of Comfort represented in the quilt.  Also, hospice care team of nurses, physicians, hospice aids, chaplains, social workers and volunteers are Stars of Comfort to those living and dying in our community every day.

Stars of Comfort honors the dedicated quilters from the Pajaro Valley Quilt Association. Their passion and love for our community is represented by every piece of fabric carefully stitched into this mosaic of beauty! This breathtaking quilt is a priceless treasure that will be displayed at multiple Hospice of Santa Cruz County events from June 1st through December 7th.  The winning ticket for the quilt will be drawn at Hospice of Santa Cruz County’s annual Tree of Lights event on December 7, 2014.

A limit of 250 tickets will be raffled for this quilt.  Tickets are $20 each.
To purchase tickets contact:
Adrienne Meier
Associate Development Director
Hospice of Santa Cruz County
831 430-3086

Monday, June 16, 2014

Caroline Chambers, Clinical Practice Education Coordinator - 7 Year Anniversary

By Joanne Guzman
Online Marketing Specialist

As we celebrate Caroline’s 7 years with Hospice of Santa Cruz County, I sat down with her to ask a few questions about her experience with hospice care and nursing.

What brought you into nursing?

I was studying studio art and ended up in the hospital. Like many people, I received a range of quality of care.  It made such a difference when I received good care- it helped me to heal faster!  I remember one night when a nurse came in to take my vital signs.  The room was dark and quiet.  I can still remember what her hands looked like and how she cared for me.  I had a realization that I wanted to be her!

How did you land at HSCC?

There are many challenges in healthcare related to the patient experience.  I wanted to find a nursing job that felt like right livelihood.  As a massage therapist, I am trained in an approach to care called the Client Centered Philosophy.  This philosophy holds that the client, not the clinician, is the healer and that the clinician is a facilitator of that healing process.  This dovetails perfectly with the patient and family centered philosophy at hospice.

When I walked into our hospice and ran into two familiar faces - Radha, who I knew from Mount Madonna Center, and Judy, who I knew from Twin Lakes College of the Healing Arts, I knew it was the right place to be.

Now that I work in Clinical Education, people often ask if I miss the patient contact.  My reply is that I love working with the staff here at hospice.  Working with people who are so good at what they do and care so much about excellence elevates us all.  I’ve learned so much from the people I work with- how to do my job and how to be a good human being.

What gives you the greatest satisfaction in your work?

We have a huge impact on people, because we meet them in a crucial time in their lives.  When working out in the field, my role was to normalize the dying experience and help people to be present with what was happening- the beauty and the pain.  In my current role, I enjoy the problem solving and facilitating growth. Sometimes I get to support new staff as transition from a feelings of overwhelm to a place of “I’ve got it!”  I like to collaborate. That’s what is so great about the hospice model- we are actually mandated to work as a team!

What is unique about your job?

I see myself as a bridge between field clinicians and leadership.  I’ve been in the field and can understand the challenges there.  Working with leadership, I get insight into why we have to do some of the things we are being asked to do.  I feel I have a responsibility to support understanding and collaboration.  Yes, we have regulations we have to follow, and we have people we need to care for...let's problem solve.

What does hospice care mean to you?

For me, it is about recognizing that dying is part of a continuum.  We walk side by side with people as they transition.  We help people get through it.  Ram Dass does a teaching about people and their roles in life.  He describes how, when someone is dying, the roles fall away and we just become beings sharing an experience together.   This inspires my hospice work.

Normalizing the duality of feelings people may experience, such as “I don’t want Mom to die” and “I wish it was over” is important.  Validating what they feel and their unconscious competence as caregivers is a gift.  It is an honor to serve in this way.

Final thoughts?

A good death is possible.  Thank you for letting me serve.