Janice Chapman, BSN, RN
Clinical Nurse, Palliative Care
What is your fondest memory from your 25 years working at Dartmouth-Hitchcock?
One of my fondest memories here at DHMC is when I was working in the Adult ICU [Intensive Care Unit] as a new graduate and I had taken care of a trauma patient for a long period of time. About a year later, a woman showed up asking for me in the ICU. I remember looking at her, trying to place where I knew her from. She told me her name and gave me the biggest smile and hug. She thanked me for the compassionate care, gentle touch, soft voice and encouragement during her difficult days in the ICU. This is truly one of the best gifts a patient can give to their nurse. It's a memory that will stay with me forever.
What about your work/job inspires you?
What inspires me is having experienced the Palliative Care approach to valuing the life we have. I want to help out patients and their families through the difficult transitions of terminal illness and make memories to last a life time. Having experienced how Palliative Care helped myself and family as my parents were dying makes me want to provide other families with the same experience.
What do you like best about working in your department?
What I like best about working in Palliative Care is that I found out that people care about me as a person. Little did I know that when I started in Palliative Care about 16 months ago, that within six months of working in this department, both of my parents ended up in Hospice Care at the same time. The support and guidance that the Palliative Care Team gave me is something that I will forever hold close within my heart. I was working as the outpatient nurse coordinator and they allowed me to be the caregiver in meeting the goals of keeping my parents at home, and then being their daughter. There were fellows in Palliative Care who were doing their rotation through Hospice and ended up caring for my parents in their home to help support them and the rest of the family. This was such a comfort to all of us.
My own personal experience will continue to have a positive impact on my professional practice in the care that I provide to our Palliative Care patients. It’s so rewarding and meaningful knowing that the patients and their families I help care for are so thankful for what we do every day. Life is truly a gift and the life stories that are told are memories that you can hold onto for the rest of your life. I am thankful every day for the blessings in my life!