AP NEWS

Nurse works to being comfort at the end of her patients’ lives

March 11, 2019

Somerset-area nurse Audrey Sadler said that she considers it an honor and privilege to be with patients during their final days.

Sadler has been a nurse in the area for 30 years, the last 14 working in hospice. She currently works as the nurse liaison for Three Rivers Hospital Family Home Health.

“I did home health first and hospice toward the end of my career,” she said. “Living in Somerset County, working in this area, I am taking care of friends and family members.”

Sadler’s interest in health care started when she was young. She had two brothers with cystic fibrosis.

“I saw what care was needed,” she said.

Her father, Dr. Fred Smith, was a Confluence dentist for 50 years.

Sadler was interested in home health because of the flexibility.

“You could schedule appointments and things and work around seeing patients,” she said.

Sadler said that some cases are harder than others, and as a nurse she gets attached to family members.

“What is most rewarding is taking care of people toward the end stages of their lives, making them comfortable and providing the comforting care that they need,” she said. “It is really rewarding.”

Sadler’s colleague and friend, Merit Boucher, said that what makes Sadler a special nurse is that she always goes above and beyond to care for her patients.

“She makes every case special and she puts her heart into everything,” she said. “I’ve learned so much for her.”

Sadler said she also enjoys mentoring the next generation of nurses.

“I love sharing my experience with new nurses and teaching them the home health and hospice part,” she said.

Sadler said that waiting until she was farther into her career helped because she does not think she could have handled the work earlier in life.

“As long as you are caring and compassionate you can learn the charting and the paperwork. Truthful, compassionate and caring is what I look for when I hire a nurse,” she said. “What I look for in nurses is that they care about the patient.”

(See SADLER, A7)

She said that hospice and home health requires a different mindset than in a traditional hospital setting.

“In the hospital you know a patient by a room number,” she said. “In hospice and home health you know their family.”

“It becomes more personal and personalized,” Boucher added. “Some cases are very hard.”

In her free time Sadler enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren and spending time outdoors. She also has three rescue dogs and sells vintage clothes on eBay.

“I’ve always loved animals,” she said.

She also enjoys traveling, whether it is a trip to Iceland, or a trip out West to visit her son.