Humorous “morning show” prepares hospice staff for serious work in Harrisburg


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – These were daily video meetings like so many in America in the age of the pandemic. That is, “a little dry,” said John Dommel, a registered nurse who cares for palliative care patients.

Then one morning someone asked about the weather. Dommel answered the question in the convincing voice of a weather announcer.

“And it started from there,” Dommel recalls. “And then the traffic slowed down,” so he started giving traffic reports.

“Not too far from the office, Progress Avenue,” Dommel told the group Friday morning, with a false horn sounding in the background as he sat at his desk, “there is an accident.”

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Shortly after, Arlene Dunn, a chaplain who raises chickens, was doing a “Chicken Chat with Arlene” segment.

“And there’s a lot of information to be learned about chickens,” said Leann Barcavage, a registered nurse who spoke to abc27 on the morning show.

“And for the nurses in the group, a chicken’s heart beats 220 to 360 times a minute,” Dunn said on Friday morning’s call. “How would you like to take that pulse?” “

The calls don’t last long – those on Friday were less than 15 minutes, including the serious part at the start about how the patients were doing (“We’re talking about patient care, obviously,” Barcavage said) – but folks at Asana Hospice say they ‘We have become an indispensable part of the day. Why?

“Otherwise, you would have burnout,” Dommel said. “And you don’t want that.”

“I really think you have to find something positive in your day,” said Barcavage – the perspective of someone who cares about people who don’t have many days left.

“We still have to live until the moment we are not there,” she said.


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