I am a new grad and just got hired as a hospice nurse for a prominent home health and hospice company. I feel super lucky! I knew that there would be a steep learning curve, but after 2 weeks I am starting to feel overwhelmed. I would love advice from other hospice nurses who have been through this rough time already. I love what I am doing, and know I will like it even better once I get more confident in myself and know more what to do and when.
So what are tips on what to do at each visit? How to know when to initiate the use of the E Kits? How do you manage your time between visits/charting/and personal life? What supplies do you always have with you? What are good questions to ask the pt and/or family? Any tip or advice you have I would love! I really want to make this work out, and would love any help I can get.
Thanks so much!
Jul 2, '12
I'm not a new grad I've been working in ltc for two years and will be starting orientation for hospice next week. What do you find overwhelming? How's the day to day? LTC and supervising is really fast paced, crazy, and overwhelming. I'm hoping hospice will alleviate some of my stress and anxiety.
Looking forward to read replies from others with advise.
Jul 7, '12
I have been in hospice 5 plus years and the best advice I can give you will answer one of your questions. If you are lucky enough to have dedicated on-call nurses, do not keep your work cell phone on after you are done for the day. In order to be able to be an effective hospice nurse you must "stop" working when your day is done. I refuse to keep my work cell on once I drive into my driveway. At that point it is family and me time. They only get about 4 hours a day and work gets about 10 hours. So once I am done, I am done! I feel if I am doing my job, my patients are well managed and the only time they would be calling is for new symptoms or emergencies. And that is the job description of the on-call nurse.
I do occasionally do some paperwork at home, but only if I have been unable to finish it at the office. It is not a routine thing.
The other questions should be answered with your orientation. You will learn the time to use the e-kit, how to deal with symptom management, families, and all the rest. Use the experienced hospice nurses you will be working with. It will take some time, maybe a year, to feel comfortable jumping in, changing meds, talking the family into using high doses of meds to manage symptoms. But it will come. Good luck, I hope you love it as much as I do!