Quote from Mommy/Grandma
Can you tell me what a home health hospice nurse does? I am a LPN and very much interested in Hospice, in the paper today the local Hospice is looking for an LPN per diem to do home hospice care. My Mom was under Hospice care but in a nursing home, that is how I decided to become a nurse at the age of 45.
My Dad died in 1975 before Hospice had really gotten started in the US. Hospice began in New Haven ,Connecticut in 1974.
I have been a Hospice nurse officially since 1982 and unofficially since 1974. It is the most rewarding job I have ever had. I take brief respites from it to renew myself but I keep finding myself drawn back to it. AND I know for sure that I never want to go back to in hospital "floor" nursing. As a hospice nurse you are allowed to participate and become a part of the most intimate and intense part of another person's life. They invite you in and you become a integral part of their caregiving team.
It is my firm belief that Hospice nurses are born and not made. It takes a special kind of person to do the job of taking care of patients who know that they are dying.
What do hospice nurses do? They listen with their whole being. They guide patients and families safetly through mine fields., Successfully Guiding them over hills and into the valleys and up the other side again. They expertly and efficiently palliate (Palliate means to "cover up") the symptoms of the dying process. They assist patients to find meaning in the dying and help them to complete life tasks. They facilitate the mending of relationships. They support the family caregivers who do the bulk of the work. Hospice nurse help to coordinate the care. There is a lot of teaching that goes on each visit. There is also a fair amount of paper work as there is for any job in nursing these days.
I have recieved much from my hospice patients in terms of life lessons and insights. BUT One of my Hospice patients gave me the most incredible gift he taught me to be a professional clown before he died. He was a Shriner Clown and wanted to pass his passion for Clowning on to someone prior to his death. That was 1995 and I now teach others how to become a clown and I have formed a Caring-clown Alley and we are a part of Wellness House.