I’m a hospice nurse – here’s what I tell all my dying patients about death

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DEATH is a normal part of life and it’s something we all have to go through.

It can be distressing for everyone involved and extremely frightening.

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Nurse Julie McFadden recalled a conversation she had recently had with a terminally ill patientCredit: tiktok/hospicenursejulie

But one hospice nurse has revealed how she helps guide her terminally ill patients.

Posting to TikTok, Julie McFadden, recalled a conversation she had recently had with a terminally ill ‘forty-something year-old’.

She explained that the patient ‘didn’t want to admit’ they were dying and had been struggling to come to terms with their reality.

The 39-year-old healthcare professional said the patient didn’t want to ‘think or act like they were dying’.

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Julie added that the patient was scared of leaving their children behind when they die.

Trying to comfort them, she said she says the same thing to all terminally ill patients.

She explained: “One, I can see why you would think that way and why you are saying this.

“It doesn’t feel fair, it doesn’t feel right.

“The only advice I can give you is hope for the best, plan for the worst.

“If we know that someone with your disease is likely to die within the next six months, whether they want to admit that or not, that’s what’s likely to happen.”

She said she then asks people what they would like those last six months to look like.

“Do you want them to look like you’re at home with your family, doing the things you want to do.

“Is that good pain management control and symptom management control and doctors and nurses coming to you?

“Or do you want to be in and out of the hospital, doing things to ‘fight’, that are likely not going to do anything anyway and that’s the truth.”

She added that while that may seem harsh, ‘it needs to be said’.

The nurse urged patients to think about their choices in their final months.

Worst case scenario, she said if this is your last six months, you should do it the way you want to.

While she said this might sound like an awful conversation to have, she said she ‘hoped it made a difference’ to the person’s life.

Julie previously revealed the telltale sign your loved one is about to pass away.

During the week leading up to someone’s passing they do the “death stare” a lot, Julie explained.

The term, which the expert coined herself, refers to when a “loved ones seemingly stares beyond you, or stares into the corner of the room or up to the ceiling,

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“Sometimes they talk and say they see something but other times they will just stare,” she explained.

The expert went on to say that she has also seen animals experience this phenomenon.

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