New Job as a Hospice Intake Nurse

  1. 1
    I have about a year of hospice experience, but I never did intake, just inpatient and on-call field nursing. I'm a little nervous about this position. I just want to do a terrific job! Can anyone give me any pointers or encouragement? I start within the next couple of weeks. I have always loved the "people" part of nursing as opposed to the technical side of nursing, and I am told that I am very empathetic, so I am hoping that those things will help me to be successful in this new position.

    Thanks!
    Vtachy1 likes this.

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  2. 7 Comments...

  3. 0
    No input - today was my first day as a hospice nurse - but I wanted to welcome and congratulate you.
  4. 2
    Thanks! I hope you love hospice nursing and it is a long and satisfying career for you. I can tell you from my personal experience that there is really nothing like it.

    Good luck!
    Vtachy1 and SuesquatchRN like this.
  5. 4
    When you say an 'intake' nurse, do you mean admission nurse? If so, that is what I do. I actually worked a year doing admissions, then switched to case managing for 2, then just recently switched back to admissions. My pointers include the following:
    1. Try to limit appointments. If I have a family who wants to be seen in the afternoon, I tell them I will call them around 1pm and let them know when i can be there. This keeps me from breaking appointments as more important admits come up.
    2. Recognize you can only be in one place at a time, and live it. A lot of nurses have a hard time with admissions, because 4 come in at once and it is stressful. One of the other things I keep in my mind, as hard as it is to see someone suffer, their failure to prepare is not my failure, or my crisis. I will get there as soon as I can, but often there are 2 crises at a time.
    3. Learn CAHABA, COPs, and your companies regulations. This will save lots of heartache.
    4. Recognize and accept that sometimes you will walk into a situation full of grief, and anger, and you will be the one that anger is directed towards. Do your best, and know that you served an important function for that family.
    5. Admissions requires sharp assessment skills, and solid knowledge of disease process and symptom management. Medicare does not say you have 24 hours from the admit to start really managing symptoms. A lot of times I am changing meds and reviewing disease process for most of the admit visit, because I know I have 24 hours to get pain and other symptoms managed.

    By the way, I did not happen to end up doing admissions again, I actually chose to go back to it. The reason why I left case management is because it was so stressful and so much accountability. I feel like with admissions I get to meet great people, give them hope, and then hand them off.

    Good luck!
    MarcyRN, tewdles, SuesquatchRN, and 1 other like this.
  6. 0
    Thanks, ErinS. Actually, what I have been told is that this job will mostly involve staying in the office and taking referrals over the phone, talking to the doctors, answering questions from families, etc. and that from time to time I will be going over to the adjoining hospital to talk to potential patients and their families about hospice. I used to work for a larger hospice company and they had admission nurses who do exactly what you do, but I'm not sure how much of that I'll actually be doing. It will be very similar to what you do in the sense that I will generally be the first person that they meet when they get involved with hospice, and that's part of why I'm a bit nervous, I guess. I want to do a good job so that I answer their questions, put them at ease, and make them comfortable in seeking hospice care and getting the help that they need. If I mess up, I may give them a very bad impression of our hospice and then they or their family member won't get the care that they need.

    I know that's a lot to take on myself and that I can't be perfect. I am going to get an extensive orientation, which will help a lot, and as I said, I do have experience as an on-call field nurse, so I also have experience with being the "face" of a hospice company and I did fine with that job. I just wondered if anyone else here did this type of work as well.

    Thanks again.
  7. 0
    I'm per diem and I choose to cross train so I do mostly Admissions, but also field visits and just recently Hospice House. Admissions is my favorite! As Intake you will really learn all the rules and regs with Medicare & private insurance. Welcome.
  8. 0
    Quote from westieluv
    I have about a year of hospice experience, but I never did intake, just inpatient and on-call field nursing. I'm a little nervous about this position. I just want to do a terrific job! Can anyone give me any pointers or encouragement? I start within the next couple of weeks. I have always loved the "people" part of nursing as opposed to the technical side of nursing, and I am told that I am very empathetic, so I am hoping that those things will help me to be successful in this new position.

    Thanks!


    So wonderful to see this post! I am starting this same position in LTC on Monday, and am excited for exactly the same reasons you stated. It is a daunting amount of regulation, ins, and paperwork to understand tho. I have been an LPN for a little over a year, with experience in Restorative Therapy, 4 months of Med Surg and home health, medical records, activities in an Alzheimers unit and as a CNA. I hope I have the skills needed to make this position work. Please stay in touch with updates. I think we will have alot in common!
  9. 0
    So wonderful to see this post! I am starting this same position in LTC on Monday, and am excited for exactly the same reasons you stated. It is a daunting amount of regulation, ins, and paperwork to understand tho. I have been an LPN for a little over a year, with experience in Restorative Therapy, 4 months of Med Surg and home health, medical records, activities in an Alzheimers unit and as a CNA. I hope I have the skills needed to make this position work. Please stay in touch with updates. I think we will have alot in common!


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