Teammate Spotlight: Joyce Tarver

Joyce Tarver is a Registered Nurse (RN) for Faith Presbyterian Hospice (FPH), working in the Harold E. Simmons In-Patient Care Center at the T. Boone Pickens Hospice Center for the past nine months. In her role, she provides education, symptom management as well as emotional and spiritual support for patients and their loved ones. We sat down with Joyce to learn more about her through a fun question and answer session. Read about this caring teammate below.

What are you passionate about regarding your professional role?
Professionally, I am passionate about the opportunity to support families during such a sacred time in their lives. It is truly an honor. My goal is to alleviate fear and ease pain, facilitating a positive and peaceful death experience for both patients and their loved ones.

Favorite memory/moment to date during your time at FPH:
One of my favorite moments involved an elderly patient who was experiencing a lengthy transition. Her son had to be gone for a few days, leaving her alone in her room. Though she was non-responsive, I spent an afternoon by her bedside, gently stroking her hair and speaking softly to her. I talked about those waiting for her and the beautiful place that was prepared for her. Within minutes, her breathing slowed, and she took her final breath. It was surreal to realize that I had just helped this precious lady leave this earth with the comfort of touch and the reassurance of the promises of her faith. This experience also validated the belief that, even when a patient seems completely unaware, they can still recognize our presence until the very end.

What do you think sets FPH apart from other hospice services?
I believe what sets FPH apart is the support management provides through servant leadership and the camaraderie within the nursing team.

On the weekend, you can find me:
On my days off, you can find me trying to balance life and work by pursuing self-care activities such as working out at the gym, spending time with grandchildren, various hobbies and sometimes doing absolutely nothing.

Tell us about your hobbies:
My hobbies come and go depending on how busy my life gets. But a few favorites include gardening, landscaping, furniture flipping, quilting and playing golf.

What is something that makes you feel proud?
Occasionally, when a patient is transitioning or imminent and the family is open to it, I take photos of loved ones holding the patient’s hand and then give them a printed copy to keep. It’s heartwarming to see how a small gesture can become a cherished gift that families deeply appreciate.

Share about your family:
My husband, Rob, and I are high school sweethearts. We have been married for 38 years but have been together for 43 years and have five children. We were foster parents for 14 years and adopted three of our children from foster care. Our children include Brittany, age 32; Alyssa, age 28; Josh, age 20; Hannah, age 20 and Judah, age 10. We have three grandchildren Lydia, age 4; Abigail, age 2; Madeline, six months and one on the way!

How would your friends describe you?
I think my friends would describe me as compassionate, empathetic and funny.

Melora Hartman, FPH Director of Clinical Services, shared these kind words about Joyce, “Joyce provides compassionate care to her patients. She is there to make patients smile and she is there to comfort them when they need a shoulder to cry on. Joyce is recognized for her wonderful bedside manner by patients, their families and her teammates!”