Considering Hospice

  1. Hello all hospice nurses,
    i graduated from Rutgers University, NJ in May of 2000. immediately after, i entered a 10-month Home HEalth Internship program for new grad nurses. I really loved what i was doing but the paperwork at the VNA was horrific and the nursing shortage had really affected the agency. i was there for only 14 months. i got offered the position of wound care nurse coordinator at a dme company and was layed off this past friday, 2/8/02. i was kind of happy of the lay off because i felt that i wasn't fulfilling my calling, i wasn't even considered primary nursing and the management weren't even nurses at the dme company!
    I was lucky that i was warned of the lay off so i had already started looking, and have had 2 interviews already. one included a hospice agency, where it went well.

    Anyway, i have always had an interest for hospice nursing. I remember caring for a terminally-ill patient during my clinicals in school. I remember the patient dying alone, without anyone to grieve for him. I really felt badly for this patient and really wanted to pursue it after that. I was quickly discouraged by non nurses "you're only 22, you can't handle that!"
    now that i'm looking for career alternatives again, hospice keeps popping up. my only concern, and i don't know if it matters, is that i have never experienced a death (so far, knock on wood) of a close relative. i don't know if i would be a good candidate for hospice because of that fact. otherwise, i am a very compassionate nurse that feels as though i came into this profession wanting to make a difference in patients' lives, and wanting a rewarding job.

    from what i've been noticing from reading these posts, is that there are a lot of special nurses in the hospice field providing special care.

    i really want to be part of that team, but also be realistic in my career choice. I really want a rewarding job that won't consume me c stress and paperwork. my family life/time is crucial to me. i know working in the home care field is very flexible, but the paperwork drained me and really burned me out.

    will hospice nursing consume me? Is there a high turnover rate within agencies? will i be able to have a social life plus love what i do at work? the answer to these questions were negative at the VNA, and i'm hoping it will not be like that in hospice.

    please help justify my interest in hospice
    Last edit by Janelle, RN on Feb 11, '02
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  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   aimeee
    Well...there can be a lot of stress, but there are a lot of rewards too. I have no idea what things are like at the agency that you interviewed with but the one I work for does not have a high turnover rate, certainly nothing like the hospital and home care folks do! Our teams are very supportive of each other and the paperwork is not bad at all.

    Your wound care experience is good, as is your home health experience. You may want to get some more experience in either oncology or long term care though, where you have more direct experience with end of life situations.

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Considering Hospice