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Hospice Worker Offers Gift of Care and Comfort

As a part of our “Greatest Person” series, we highlight Peachtree Corners resident Jane Dausner who is a social worker for Hospice Atlanta; the only non-profit Hospice organization in the state of Georgia.

 

Jane Dausner moved here to Peachtree Corners in 1995, the year the Braves won the World Series. Not only did the Braves win, but our community won by gaining a woman who exhibits great care and concern for others which she extends to many through her work as a hospice social worker. 

With her masters from Columbia in clinical social work, Dausner was happy in her private practice here in Peachtree Corners, helping individuals and families deal with the life stressors that they faced. But things began to change for her, subsequently leading her down a different path. Following is an interview that I had with her regarding her current work in hospice care.

Patch: What made you decide to leave your private practice and go to work for Hospice Atlanta?

Dausner: I’ve always been interested in end of life care. I took care of my mother and mother-in-law at the end of their lives. I was encouraged by a friend who was a hospice nurse to consider working for hospice, but I decided against it because I was happy and helping people in my private practice. Then in 2005 I was faced with a personal struggle; a severe case of diabetes which almost took my life. That was the impetus and inspiration that moved me to go to work for hospice.

Patch: Have you ever regretted making this career change?

Dausner: No. This is exactly what I wanted to do and I’ll always do it. This is the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done. 

Patch: Tell me a little about what hospice is.

Dausner: (This is a quote she provided me from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Org.) “…hospice and palliative care involve a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes.”

Patch: What do you do?

Dausner: I assist patients and their loved ones with the emotional psychosocial aspects of dying and end of life care. I cover an eight county area north of the Perimeter and have four to five visits per day. 

Patch: How are things the same and different with each of your contacts?

Dausner: The practice is the same with each patient but each individual experience is different. I call the family and arrange a time to visit. As wonderful as the concept of hospice is, what each family encounters can be extremely difficult. It’s a very stressful time. I find that the more education that the families get about hospice and the more the families utilize the services, the lower their stress becomes in confronting end of life issues. 

Patch: What are some misconceptions that people have about hospice?

Dausner: Here are a few:

  • Being on hospice care means imminent death. It doesn’t. Many times we “graduate” patients from the program.
  • Using morphine means “giving up”; or, it causes death. It doesn’t.
  • The patient will never be able to travel again. Not true. We can help patients arrange travel to visit people which includes continued care from either us by phone, or visits that we arrange from a local hospice for the patient in the location where they’re traveling. 

Patch: What are some of the greatest benefits that you think hospice offers its patients?

Dausner: Hospice offers patients quality of life. It gives them freedom from worry about ever having to visit a doctor or hospital again. We have doctors that visit people in their homes and if they do need to be in a hospital setting, the patient can go to our hospice facility. 

Jane and others like her offer an invaluable gift that hospice offers to so many, the freedom from worry for both patients and family during a most stressful time in their lives.

This gift of care, comfort and support is lovingly given to so many by our Peachtree Corners neighbor Jane Dausner. If you have any questions that you would like to personally address with her you can send her an email at JaneD13@aol.com. For more information about Hospice Atlanta visit www.nhpco.org.  

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