Day in the life of a hospice nurse - page 3

by FirstYear2005 46,984 Views | 35 Comments

i am so curious about various areas of nursing. what is a typical day in hospice (nursing) like ? thanks... Read More


  1. 4
    the typical day of a Lead CNA, I felt that this needed to be shared, as I too work in Hospice..and love it, I live it.

    Wake up 5 am. Out the Door at 6. Drive and eat at the same time..oh crap, forgot the special delivery at home, go back to get it. See 2 patients, then get called by office for emergency IDT or some sort of stupid mandatory meeting. Go to office, Drive 30 miles, to be told that Next Friday is Admin/DON B-day or special inservice (um, you can't tell me this on the phone?) Oh yah, have to wait 30 for meeting to start because so in so is not yet there..but is running late. Start out the door with "Important Info in mind" then get to car, crap need gas, go get gas, Office calls, you need to come back to office to pick up supplies for a patient that called yesterday, urgh, go back and ask them why they did not tell you when you were there, they said sorry I forgot..urgh again.. call next Family, go there, discover patient is actively dying, call office, they say case manager is out of office (its lunch time...Im hungry as well,) call directly on cell, no answer, call another RN who answers, Its not my patient, call so in so...URgh...call them, Pts family is crying because Mommas breathing is stroking, Calm them down, tell them to talk to her, sing to her, love her, Finally get ahold of an RN, the DON and they yell at me for not calling soon enough...um..meeting..just got here, u did not answer your phone. Ok, they are on their way...(get a text, getting coffee, u want some..I reply NO..get here NOW) they arrive, Patient has already expired, I am trying to and manage to calm Family down..Time to do paper work with RN...wait for Funeral home to arrive while getting Patient cleaned, Funeral home arrives, I leave. Ok, now that it 4 pm, I am hungry, grab a snack in my car, call next patient, go there all is well, call next patient, Family says Hurry, somethings wrong, Dads not talking and his lips are Blue...OOY..call office, report family concerns, they say well go there and call us with report, (I ask to speak to supervisor/don, gone for the day, I ask who is on call, oh great the one who does nothing and then get informed that I am back up...WHAT?) Call the one who does nothing, says call me when you get there, it takes me 30 min due to traffice, O2 was disconnected, reconnected tubing to concentrator, call nurse (used lightly) took v/s...pt began doing better. Family at ease but wants me to stay for a few hours, its now 6pm (no lunch, no peepee) ask if I can use restroom, relief finally. Go back to check on patient..OMG..#2 for the day? can't be..can it? take v/s yep...take pulse ox...yep, check concentrator, all good with machine, look at feet..purple, blood pooling, finger nails purple. Pray. Call Nurse to report sudden change, she tells me to monitor patient for 3 hours and report back, Nope, I call Administrator (who loves me) Report Pts condition of course not in direct hearing of family, then receive call from DON, she is on her way, reassures me all is ok, tells me what to do and how, step by step, it takes her 2 hours to get there, freeway closed due to rainy accident, Patient expired 1 hour before her arrival. Take care of Family, and patient. Call Mort when Nurse Arrives, assist with all med disposal.....go home. Its now 10 pm. No dinner, Children in Bed, Hubby in Bed, take a shower, put on sweats, start to cry, head to beach, cry some more, get rained on while at the beach, come back home, 1 am, take another shower. Get called to go out at 3 am......then I realize, I'm hungry, nothing is open. Thankfully I keep meal replacement bars in my car. Shut, I didnt do my paperwork for the day, oh well, I guess another write up is coming, but I dont care. My Families are happy with me, but some people in the office hate it when my paper work is late, (I dont have a 9-5 desk job in one place lady..sorry)

    Some days are just run of the mill days, nothing big. work gets done.charting gets done, others are not that simple.

    Do I LOVE it, YES, do I live for it, Yes. By the way, I still keep in contact with all my Patients Families, they have become part of my family, I would not trade my job for the world.

    A day in the life of a CNA.
  2. 1
    With my best hospice employer my day as an RN case manager usually started with everyone calling in at 8:15 AM to get the morning report from the on call nurse. Usually called before visits to confirm before starting out for the day. This employer provided cell phones so was always just a phone call away from other members of hospice team. When situations arose my PCM (patient care manager) would help from the office. Patient load usually 10 to 13 patients. Finished up paper work after returned home. Charting very important and time consuming. Every day different. Usually went to office once or twice a week to attend meetings, get supplies, and turn in paperwork. Lots of autonomy and lots of rewards.
    1sodagirl2 likes this.
  3. 0
    I am so excited. I have an interview with a wonderful Hospice Agency in two days. I now have 2 1/2 years experience on a cardiac progressive care unit in a major hospital and I am ready to make a move toward where my heart and passion really lie.

    I am interested in either an extended care position working evenings nights weekends which I dont mnd, or working M-F days as a case manager RN. Any thoughts on the different experiences of these 2 roles?

    Kind regards, Lisa
  4. 0
    What is a typical day for a Hospice RN that works in the Hospice, not doing house calls?
  5. 0
    I would like to add that being a hospice nurse is not all about the assessment and just being a nurse. there are many people that make up the team for hospice and with that, us as nurses have to know when it is time to ask for help. I know this is hard. but as nurses we are the maybe 20% for the patient and 80% for family. Usually it is the patient who is ready at the end of life, but it is the family who does not accept it. Hopsice nursing is a great profession and that is why I will continue. But there are times as all jobs it is trying and you have to be sure it is the nitch for you
  6. 0
    Awesome!!!! That sounds like a typical day where I work, too!! Are you from TN? LOL.
  7. 0
    Quote from ertrek84
    What is a typical day for a Hospice RN that works in the Hospice, not doing house calls?

    I would be really interested to hear about this too. Just moved to Florida from the UK where I was a Hospice Nurse but I was based full time in the Hospice Facility.

    Can you tell me what the job title is called of RN's who are based solely in the Hospice working?

    Thank you in advance
  8. 0
    A question for those who wrote about being on call - how often are you on call if you are a visiting hospice nurse?
  9. 0
    i find the patient care and home visit to be a wonderful experience. it is calling dr's 3 and 4 times , pharmacies, charting that never ends and documentation that is for the jury in mind as well as check off boxes and naratives and 485s and updates and on and on.. i spend a full day in the field and then chart another 2 to 4 hrs a night- not sure if this is typical
  10. 0
    Quote from grdmdb
    i find the patient care and home visit to be a wonderful experience. it is calling dr's 3 and 4 times , pharmacies, charting that never ends and documentation that is for the jury in mind as well as check off boxes and naratives and 485s and updates and on and on.. i spend a full day in the field and then chart another 2 to 4 hrs a night- not sure if this is typical
    We do not use 485s. Documentation should occur during the visit or directly after...if you are charting at home at night something is not right. It is common to have to phone a physician more than once/day if you have multiple patient visits requiring medical collaboration. Most of the time they are VERY responsive to hospice calls...if they are not, call your medical director. Make sure to gather all of your data for a patient first, THEN call the doc, best not to call them more than once during a visit about the same patient. Sometimes I speak with the same doc several times over the course of the day about different people with different issues.

    If you are documenting the same information in multiple places your workload is needlessly increased and you are less efficient than you could be. Your employer would benefit from critically examining those forms and processes to find ways to improve them.


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