I'm so excited!

  1. Yay! I start working for Hospice on Monday! I've been wanting to do this even before I started the nursing program and finally my dream is coming true!

    Do you have any advice for a Hospice newbie?

    Is it ok to cry with the family? I will be on-call nights and will go on emergency calls and death calls. How does the family usually react when a different nurse goes on the call? I won't have a regular group of patients so I really won't have time to get to know them and "bond" with them.

    I'm really excited, but really nervous at the same time.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   justjenn
    I am soooo happy for you. I only have been accepted into the LPN program for the fall, so I am not a nurse or student nurse yet. But, I too thought of working for Hospice. Still, I do not know whether I want to work for Hospice, hospital or a nursing home.

    It is great that someone is excited about their job. Best of luck. You will be making a difference in many people's lives.

    Jenn
  4. by   Mary Dover
    I've been working for a hospice agency for about a month. Had a VERY brief orientation and off I went. I LOVE it. So far I only have a caseload of 10. I have found it pretty easy to bond with most, exept for the family of one pt with severe dementia, but I'm keeping an open mind and heart. Most of the time when I'm in this particular pt's home, I feel like an intruder.
    The one thing I have figured out thus far, is that it is going to be a great growth experience for me, professionally and personally.
    One book you might want to read...."Midwife for Souls". I don't know how spiritually inclined you are, but IMHO spirituality plays a big part in hospice nursing. I also feel that my 12+ years psych experience will be helpful for me. Good luck. Keep us posted. PM me if you want.
  5. by   cargal
    I often follow the Primary Care Nurse and see patients and deaths for the first time when I haven't established a relationship with the family. It is usually a very wonderful experience, I see a lot of love at the time of death and the family takes me in like family. They are grateful for the necessary calls that need to be made to the coroner (if nec) and the funeral home. The narcs need to be destroyed also. I have been Hospice since November and I love it-most of the time!
  6. by   aimeee
    Congratulations, Scarlette. I know you are going to love it. And yes, it IS okay to cry with families.
  7. by   Scarlette
    Thanks everyone for replying.

    The one thing I'm worried about is that I'm not a church-going person. I believe in God and do my own praying and such, but I'm nervous that a family might ask me to lead them in prayer. I won't know the "proper" way to do it. I'm sorry if that sounds stupid, but I'm really nervous about that. Is there really a "proper" way to pray with a family?
  8. by   justjenn
    As I said before, I am Catholic & a 3rd Order Carmelite. I will try and find a prayer that is non-denominational (so not to offend any particular faith - just use God, not Jesus, for you may have someone of Jewish faith), short but meaningful. That way you can keep it with you or even memorize it. Just give me a day or so.

    Being Catholic, I promised God that for every person I know that is in their last moments, that I would say the Divine Mercy prayer. Even if I am on my lunch break, I want to do that for that person. But I will not pray inside the room- I plan to do it outside or wherever. And I will not reveal to the family that I did so, for it is better, in my opinion to keep that private.

    It may say like I am a holy-roller, but I really am not. Living in the south, us Catholics keep our faith under-raps, it's safer that way.

    Best - Jenn
  9. by   cargal
    Most of the time, the family has been ready and has contacted their priest or minister, or does not go to church, and has been offered the services of the pastoral counselor from the hospice. At the time of death, mostly all religious issues have been wrapped up. I , too, am not religious and at first I thought I would not be able to console as well as our other more religious nurses who always seem to have the right thing to say. But, I try to find something else to comment on, such as the lifelong role of fatherhood, or his military past, or his love for his family.
    You will be fine, you'll see!
  10. by   BellaTerra2002
    Hi, Jenn. I'm a Superior Court Clerk and a 3rd Order Franciscan. Tried to PM you and couldn't. You can contact me at BellaTerra2002@aol.com. Would love to talk with you.

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