Loving Hospice

  1. 10
    I recently made a change from working in a VERY busy peds office to hospice. I was getting tired of the every day repetitiveness of the doctors office and knew I wanted to do something more as a nurse. I came across a listing for hospice and decided to look more into it. After my interview I was still a little unsure. Then I did a shadow day, the relationships that you develop with your patients and their families is amazing. And the feeling you have at the end of the day is even more amazing. These people are allowing you to come into their home and care for their loved one during one of the hardest, most emotional times of their lives. And they open you, a stranger, with such open arms.

    I was still unsure on how I was going to handle the death aspect of it and education to the families regarding EOL. But it came so naturally. This is the most rewarding job I have ever had....and the end of my shift I feel like I have really made a difference. Hospice nursing is so much more then just people dying....
    Race Mom, LOVING RN2B, tnmarie, and 7 others like this.
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Good luck and welcome to hospice!
    I hope you enjoy the autonomy that hospice nursing offers.
    tnmarie and onewill like this.
  5. 0
    Thanks for posting that. I am in nursing school and as a former social worker, I am drawn to the hospice field where a nurse can establish relationships. However, I understand that the pay is significantly less than other areas of nursing, yes?
  6. 0
    I think hospice nursing is overlooked by so many because of the emotional difficulties that can be present. Hospice nurses, however, are more than just hand-holders (although, that is a big part of it), and those final moments and memories can be much easier to endure with the right professional around.

    I wish you the best of luck in your journey and thank you for giving so much of yourself.
  7. 0
    aklohr~

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am a pre-nursing student and my dream is to work in hospice. Your story made me want that dream more. Bless you!
  8. 0
    Thank you for taking the time to post this and good luck in your position.
  9. 0
    I am a nursing student who is interested in hospice. One concern I have had is that a hospice nurse would need to be on call frequently because, well, people can pass away at any time of day.

    OP - you said "at the end of my shift." Do you work at a hospice house? What is your day to day schedule like as a hospice nurse?

    Someone else mentioned autonomy, which sounds good to me... I'm just curious what the different options for schedules would be like.
  10. 1
    Quote from Baubo516
    I am a nursing student who is interested in hospice. One concern I have had is that a hospice nurse would need to be on call frequently because, well, people can pass away at any time of day.

    OP - you said "at the end of my shift." Do you work at a hospice house? What is your day to day schedule like as a hospice nurse?

    Someone else mentioned autonomy, which sounds good to me... I'm just curious what the different options for schedules would be like.

    When they die, from what I understand, you call hospice, and they call the funeral home to come by with the van. Still haven't found anyone to illustrate the typical day- but my guesses:

    Fewer patients than HHA, and longers visits?
    Different type of visit, since they may also have a HHA for personal care, etc.?
    Possibly even a more stable job, since people die so often, and the population is aging so rapidly?

    I do know that hospice Medicare bennies pay big $- if that goes to the staff, rather than the owner of the egancy, not sure. Somee hospices are non-profit, in fact.

    Again, I'm guessing.
    Baubo516 likes this.
  11. 1
    How often you're on-call depends on the company. We have after hours nurses who do the visits, so our case managers actually don't rotate call. At other companies, the case manager nurses do rotate call. A good question to ask! Inpatient hospice is, schedule-wise, similar to hospital nursing with a shift (we do 12 hour shifts). Like in the hospital, you might get out on time or you might not, depending on how your shift has gone. In homecare, at our company, the nurses have "normal" daytime job hours. There are times when those days go long or you have a lot of documentation to do. It really depends on what the day has been like. There are days when everything goes smoothly and you're done a little early. Other days, you're handling a crisis and you're late. Pay-wise, we do make a little less than the nurses in our local hospitals. Our salaries are based on experience, education, certification, etc. I always just think to myself 'would I rather be working in the hospital for a few more dollars an hour?' Definitely not!
    Baubo516 likes this.


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