Doula Services

I’m Pat McClendon.  I’m a nurse and End of Life Doula.

I believe that death and dying are a natural part of living and are sacred life experiences.

I am here to help those seeking a personal, natural, and sacred path at end of life (EOL).

End of life today

To start, death and dying are not medical events.  They’re deeply personal for each one of us.

As a nurse in the healthcare system for decades, I witnessed patients and families struggle at EOL.  End of life is complicated by our personal fears and denial, and by the over-medicalization of death & dying in the healthcare system.   Today, the determinants of how one dies is more about medical choices, and less about personal choices.  That’s NOT the way it used to be.   We’re living with the unintended consequences of medical science wrapped in saving lives.

We all die.  Honoring how and where people want to die humanizes care.

What is an end of life (EOL) doula?

The term “Doula” is Greek meaning “women serving women”.  It’s beyond that in modern terms.  Most of us know of the birth doula movement,  which took root in the late 1960s.  The EOL doula is a 21st century development and aligns with holistic care.

Recently, the COVID pandemic made visible the many barriers to a good death, spiking public interest in how and where we die to new levels.  Even before the pandemic, more than 95% of the public did not want to die in hospitals.

Palliative care is a specialty that deals with balancing medical treatments and EOL choices, along with symptom management, advanced care planning (ACP), and more.  Hospice care focuses on the medical plan, nursing care, and social and spiritual support.  But Hospice can’t do it all.

That’s where the EOL doula fits in.  It fills the gaps between medicine, hospice and the personal.  A doula focuses not just on the decline of the body, but the emotional, mental, social, spiritual and practical aspects that impact the dying and their loved ones.

The legacy of a good death

How we die and the choices involved are within our control.  Choices involve location, comfort and safety measures, planning details, completing paper work and loose ends, family roles, communications, enlisting community, schedules, gatherings, ceremonies, wakes, vigils, services, after death care and arrangements.

Restoring death to its natural and sacred place in life is one of the greatest gifts we can leave behind for those we love and who love us.

Services & Fees

  1. Consultation – by the hour
  2. Planning & Coaching – multiple sessions
  3. Attendance – bedside attendance during last days of life supporting person and  family, and fulfilling the desired plan.

The fees are not covered by insurance and are based on a sliding scale.

Contact –  email or call:

Pat McClendon, RN and EOL Doula.
Greater San Diego area and Temecula.
Available in person and on Zoom.