Sue Collins, R.N.
Sue Collins, who has been a nurse for 40 years and a hospice nurse for 28 years, has the extensive experience of the professional caregiver. She has seen virtually everything at the end of life. As much as anything this book arises out of the OMG!I-can’t-believe-they-said-that/did-that moments as well as the anger, frustration, grace and poignancy she has witnessed during the last days of patients for whom she has cared.
Sue has been asked many times over the years, “How can you do [hospice] work? You must be an angel!” The statement makes her feel uncomfortable, because she gets a lot of secondary gains from her work.
“You have a lot of critical influence with caregivers,” she says. “You watch them grow and have a better understanding of life and death and of themselves. You see the dying also getting in touch with themselves and creating closure situations that are meaningful. It is very rewarding to watch this unfold and know you were a catalyst. But all the hard work belongs to the families and the dying.”
After ten years of working in traditional medicine, Sue found that hospice care was the first place that treated the person as a whole being - body, mind and spirit - and not just a series of symptoms that needed attention. Since all aspects of a person have a great influence on each other, this approach can turn a negative experience into growth or transformation.
Sue is currently working on her next book, I’ve Never Died Before with Head to Wind Publishing. Look for excerpts in the future on this website.