Hospice nurse is a licensed nurse that provides care to patient who faces their end-of-life or terminally ill patients along with giving emotional support to the patient’s loved ones. Therefore, the goal of hospice nurse might be different than other nurses. Instead of pursuing a complete recovery, they ensure that the patients die peacefully and with integrity. If this nurse job sounds good to you, you may have a calling to take care the dying. Therefore, this simple guide can give you a glimpse of the roles and responsibilities waiting for you.
Hospice nurses commonly found in nursing centers, private homes, and other hospice care facilities. They can work both independently or in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team. Moreover, a hospice nurse should cover 3 roles, such as, admission nurse, and visit nurse or case manager.
Therefore, they are responsible to perform initial assessment and education before a patient is accepted into a hospice care facility. They also provide caregiver support as well as basic symptom management over the phone. Then, notify the hospice physician or case manager when a patient is in need of a visit.
Generally, a hospice nurse case manager handles one patient at a time to ensure every patient receives quality care.
A hospice nurse makes this possible by teaching patients how to control symptoms through the correct doses of the medications. They also explain the caregivers or loved ones on what to expect. Along with ways to ease the patient’s suffering, and how to avoid burning out. Due to its serious situation, most hospice nurses meet with the multidisciplinary team at least every 15 days. They don’t just discuss on how to make patient care more effective but to provide emotional support to each other.
Since, you will handle lots of emotion, so having excellent communication skills is necessary. This will help you to effectively collaborate with the caregivers, the patients, and the hospice physician. Besides, this job will be emotionally and physically taxing for hospice nurses. Therefore, learn how to be sympathetic and resilient at the same time are also other skills that you should have. At the end, having emotional stability is absolute. You have to be strong when accepting patient’s death no matter how painful it is.