Christy Petit began her career with Hospice & Community Care as a nurse more than 15 years ago. She recalls fond memories of the Hospice office located in what locals will remember as the old post office and then York County Library on Oakland Avenue. “It was wonderful,” said Christy “It was a big family. Unfortunately during that time, my mother became ill and passed away at 62 years of age. I was 33-years old caring for my mother in Tennessee, and it was tough.”
“When I lost my mom I did not deal with it well. I repressed all my emotions. Then I became pregnant, and it was hard to process death and this new life growing inside me while serving patients that were dying. It became difficult to have a healthy perspective on life and death. I decided I need to work in a different setting where I could process my loss while helping others live.”
“While Christy worked in ICU, she decided to go back to school and complete her bachelor’s degree. The more she went to school the more she realized that she liked it and decided to pursue becoming a Nurse Practitioner. Through five years of studying and hard work Christy completed her degree and got her first job as a nurse practitioner in family medicine. Later Christy took a position with a local Neurology group.”
As fate would have it, Hospice had identified the need for a nurse practitioner and reached out to Christy to see if she was ready to come “home” to Hospice & Community Care.
Christy said, “I really enjoyed the work because I was treating Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and brain tumors. We were making a huge difference in people’s lives, and the work was exciting. We were conducting research, and performing all kinds of cutting edge medicine. But I was working 16 hours a day, and my life was going by very fast. I realized that, at that time I had a 12-year old and a 15-year, and that I was going to work at 8:30 in the morning and getting home sometimes at 9:30 at night. My family would ask me to do things, and I would respond that I was working. I questioned my quality of life, am I happy?”
“On the one hand, while I am making a difference in the lives of these other people, on the other hand, you only have five years with your kids. The day I walked on the Hospice campus I realized that I was walking from the parking lot that I could breathe again. It was so calm, and there was silence. There was something that I have not had in a long time. And now I am here, and I have not had a bad day. There is no comparison to the race I was running.”
“It is wonderful now. I thought there would be a transition from nurse to nurse practitioner, but there really hasn’t been. When I talk with families, I find my nursing background and life experiences allow me to relate to patients from several different perspectives.”
“My family is thrilled, I get to go to basketball games, movies, and all the things we couldn’t do before. Hospice & Community Care is all about caring about you and your family. We are not just taking care of the patient. It is the families and who is going to be left after the patient dies that I believe it so important to this organization. We have spiritual care, bereavement, volunteers, and the other services that make this such a special hospice. Hospice does an amazing job with those things, and I am so glad to be home.”