Is Hospice for me?

  1. Hi,
    i am currently an LPN student..have been a Hospice volunteer. Can anyone give me "a day in the life of as LPN or RN Hospice nurse?" Best work as new grad to prepare me for Hospice work? Thanks......
    studying in Fl
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Iluvhospice
    I would recommend that you start your career on an oncology floor. Surprisingly, it provides you with lots of varied opportunities for skills - but most importantly - at least for hospice work - you get to experience death and dying more frequently than you do on a med/surg floor. We got patients for comfort care at the end of life from other floors too, which provided great experience when you transfer to a hospice job.

    Best of luck to you. I feel truly blessed to be working in hospice.
  4. by   rctuck
    HI,
    thank you Sarah...what are your days like?
    robin
  5. by   aimeee
    Check out this thread for replies that may tell you what you want to know:

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f25/day-...se-140276.html
  6. by   Iluvhospice
    Robin,

    My days are not what a "typical" hospice case manager would have because I see the general in-patients (pts who are hospitalized for something related to their hospice diagnosis), and when there aren't many of those - I do admissions.

    If I have 2 in-patients - and these could be in any hospital in my city, so drive time takes up a large part of my day - then I am expected to do an admission that day also. If there are 3 or more patients in the hospital, then I only do hospital visits.

    During a hospital visit, I check to be certain that the patient is comfortable and I assist the floor nurse/aide with ADLs when time permits. I call physicians to get orders for increasing pain needs or whatever the patient's needs are. I work very closely with the hospital social worker and the social worker on my team to help with discharge planning and potential home needs. When discharge is underway, I assist with transportation arrangements and to make certain that someone from hospice will meet the patient at their home for a tuck-in visit. Our hospice also has an inpatient facility, so a large part of my job is determining if our pt's needs would be better met at that facility - and, if so - arranging for transport, copying the hospital chart, and calling report to the facility. (In addition to calling the doctor for order to transfer if needed)

    LOTS and LOTS of time spent educating pts and family about meds, death and dying, symptom management, etc. LOTS and LOTS of emotional and spiritual (if appropriate) support to family. Active listening is an important skill to develop working with hospice!

    Depending on the patient load - and acuity of pts' needs - my day starts at 9 a.m. and can end as early as noon or as late as 8-9 pm (and those days usually don't have a lunch hour!) Somehow it all seems to balance out, and I'm salaried not hourly, so my paycheck doesn't take a hit on slower days.

    I work with the most awesome group of people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Working with a great team is important - and one of the blessings of this job for me.

    If hospice is in your heart - you'll have great success. Keep us posted on your progress!
  7. by   amys2
    I totally agree with ILUVHOSPICE. I am a recruiter at a large hospice, and we prefer to have someone that has experience in oncology, med/surg, l/t care and/or telemetry. These specialties will give you a good idea if you can handle dealing with patients that have come to you and your organiziation to help them pass away in the best circumstance possible. It definetly takes a very special person to do this kind of work; and the people in most hospice organizations prove to be a great resource for a newer nurse.
    Good Luck! Let us know how it goes!!
  8. by   rctuck
    Thank you all soooooo much..very helpful material..i am just beginning but after being a Hospice volunteer feel called in that direction...robin

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