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Barbara Karnes Registered Nurse

Barbara Karnes, RN Award Winning End of Life Educator, Award Winning Nurse, NHPCO Hospice Innovator Award Winner 2018 & 2015 International Humanitarian Woman of the Year

While at the bedside of hundreds of people during the dying process, Hospice Pioneer Barbara Karnes noticed that each death was following a near identical script. Each person was going through the stages of death in almost the same manner and most families came to her with similar questions. These realizations led Barbara to sit down and write Gone From My Sight, "The Little Blue Book" that changed the hospice industry.

Books Authored By Barbara Karnes

Recent Content

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Can We Revive the Essence of Hospice?

Dear Barbara,  What suggestions do you have in overcoming the changes we see in hospice and healthcare today? It doesn't look like it did 20 years ago. How do we maintain balance while keeping patien…

Dear Barbara,  What…

Dear Barbara,  What suggestions do you have in overcoming the changes we see in hospice and healthcare today? It doesn't look like it did 20 years ago. How do we maintain balance while keeping patients centered?  Hospice originated outside of the medical model. It met needs the medical establishment did not. Gradually, ever so slowly, hospice agencies have been absorbed into that medical model and the original concept has morphed into a business. With any business, money becomes an important factor. With hospice outside of the medical model, in the hands of not-for-profits, it struggled to k…

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It’s Called “Beyond Burnout”

Dear Barbara, We have heard the terms "compassion fatigue" and "Caregiver burnout." Today, after covid, it is being called "beyond burnout." What are your thoughts about this? Doesn’t it feel like t…

Dear Barbara, We hav…

Dear Barbara, We have heard the terms "compassion fatigue" and "Caregiver burnout." Today, after covid, it is being called "beyond burnout." What are your thoughts about this? Doesn’t it feel like the world has sped up? Everything is so intense these days. That energy affects us all on many levels. Our minds and our feelings are constantly being touched with so much negative energy, world wide. When you add to the external happenings our own individual challenges and you have “beyond burnout.” What do you do about it? I’m not sure there is much we can do to change the whole world or ev…

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Another Aspect of Grief That I Didn’t Know Until Now

Being in a relationship is about sharing and compromise. It is “let US do this, what do YOU think?” When a person is alone, not in a relationship, they can do what they want; there is no sharing o…

Being in a relations…

Being in a relationship is about sharing and compromise. It is “let US do this, what do YOU think?” When a person is alone, not in a relationship, they can do what they want; there is no sharing or compromise. I hadn’t thought of that before because I didn’t have to. Now that I am only responsible for myself, I only have to figure out “what do I want?” The interesting thing for me is I’m not used to knowing or doing exactly what I want even though I thought I was. This is another aspect of Grief I didn’t know until now that I am living it. Who am I if I am only one? What have I…

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Would You Rather Die At Home Or In The Hospital?

Most people, if they had their choice, would want to be in their home with family and the dog or cat on the bed when they die. YET, most people die in a hospital or nursing facility without the dog or…

Most people, if they…

Most people, if they had their choice, would want to be in their home with family and the dog or cat on the bed when they die. YET, most people die in a hospital or nursing facility without the dog or cat, and maybe even without family present. In the hospital, if a person doesn’t have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order they will not be allowed to die naturally. The body will be attached to machines to keep it breathing, and when their heart stops, the medical staff will try to restart it, generally to no avail. Without a DNR order, death will not come gently and only hospital staff will be pr…

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Grievers Probably Won’t Reach Out To You

As I travel this Grief path I am seeing that many people don't know what to do or say to grievers. There can be awkwardness, even avoidance from people. I remember when a friend’s son died and Jack …

As I travel this gri…

As I travel this Grief path I am seeing that many people don't know what to do or say to grievers. There can be awkwardness, even avoidance from people. I remember when a friend’s son died and Jack and I were on the way to the visitation, husband Jack asked me what he could say to our friends. He didn’t know what to say and he knew there was really nothing he could do for them. I suggested he say just that, “I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry.” There seem to be so many cliches that offer condolences. “I’m sorry for your loss,” “He is at peace now,” “He is with God,”…

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