Hospice vs. home health

  1. I'm a home health nurse looking into hospice nursing. I was just wondering how it compares to home health, other than the obvious difference that hospice is focused on comfort and home health is focused on healing. For people who have worked both, which one do you like better and why? Are families difficult to deal with in hospice due to their grief? Do you have to make critical decisions on the spot like you have to in home health? Does being on call interfere with your work-life balance? Any feedback would be appreciated.
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   TammyG
    Hospice and home health have a lot of similarities. However, hospice is different and that you will get to know your patients and their families much better. You will be with them through the end of their lives, and often when they die, and that leads to a type of connection that you don't have quite the same in home health. You also will probably be with your patients longer as well. Many home health patients only need one – two weeks of treatment.

    The biggest difference though, is that in home health your patients usually get better. In hospice they do not. There is a huge change and you have to make sure you are ready for it.

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do!
  4. by   RN_SummerSeas
    I personally like hospice better because I am very passionate about providing care to patients at the end of life. The documentation is different based on reimbursement. I have done both and I am not a fan of certified home health, it is easier in my opinion but I don't have a passion for it. What you really need to decide before looking to switch is do you want to provide care to patients who's goal is not aligned with curative care? Are you able to support patients and families in dying? Yes the families can be tough but so can certified patients families. Altogether I think hospice is a very difficult nursing role and those who do it and thrive find it is a calling.

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