Thinking of leaving hospice

  1. I love my job, I really do. But I am burned out. It's the on call hours. CM caseload of 12-15, call Fri @5- Mon @8 every 3rd weekend and 2 nights a week. My health has suffered and I am tired. This is my calling, I work with great people, but I have a family and I feel like I'm missing a lot. I'm sure I'm just venting. Is this the norm?
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   sclpn
    I feel your pain. I too, am leaving my hospice job of 6+ years. I've done case managing/on call, hospice house and clinical director/with 24/7 call during this time. Being a hospice nurse is my identity. I don't know how to change that and wonder if I will be happy in any other field of nursing. I have no answers for you, only more questions...I do hope to return to hospice nursing one day.
  4. by   NurseStephy80
    Wow. I have been in it for three years. That is what's keeping me with it, I don't know what other type of nursing I would want to do at this point. I just know I can't keep going at this pace.
  5. by   HeavenlyRN
    Hi, I am new to hospice and just wanted to offer some support. I would be burned out from that on-call schedule too. Is it possible to find a hospice that has an after hours/weekend on call team so that the CM is not over-burdened? Not to sound naïve or anything, but that is how the schedule works at my new job. The CM never take after hours or weekend on call responsibility. There are other nurses hired specifically for that purpose.

    Best wishes to you and I hope you can find a position that does not require you to leave this specialty.
  6. by   knurse8
    Experienced hospice nurses are in high demand, find a new hospice that has a dedicated On Call nurse! So important to have your downtime and weekends, I work for a hospice that does not require CM's to take call.
    Last edit by knurse8 on Jun 30, '17
  7. by   4boysmama
    I could not thrive in a hospice job if I had that call schedule! CMs at my company do have to do weekend rotating coverage (suppossed to be 1 weekend a month, but we're down a nurse so it's more like every 3 weeks now) but we have a dedicated weekday after hours nurse. And, our clinical managers rotate actual taking of calls, so the "on call nurse" is only tagged if a visit is needed.
  8. by   jdub6
    Ditto the above. That call schedule is certainly not the industry norm. Perhaps there are geographic areas without alternatives but in my area there is variety among agencies and some have minimal (one night every few weeks, no weekend for example) call for case managers.
  9. by   BerryhappyRN
    I agree, you are being abused my dear! Try a different company? Maybe not for profit? I am in Florida, and yes our caseloads average 12-15, sometimes 16, but we shut our phones off at 5p and are never on-call unless we WANT to work triage (nights) for extra income. No weekends ever (unless you need the money), and if you are good at time management you can truly work 8a-5p.

    Please don't leave! Find another position, another company, but don't leave hospice. Trying to turn a lamb into a lion never works!
  10. by   KMRN81
    That sounds rough!! :-( Is there any chance you could transfer to inpatient hospice? We work 3 12s and overtime only if we want to. Some of our nurses work 8 hr shifts days, evenings, or nights.
  11. by   toomuchbaloney
    I worked for a hospice like that once...full time, full case load, and 100-150 hours of oncall per month on top of it.

    That agency was not for profit and a portion of a Catholic health system. They were brutal to the staff and enjoyed an almost 80% nursing turnover every 12 months. Yep, nearly every nurse moved on within one year of employment. The agency overworked the staff and had NO plan to support them.

    Some places are just toxic.
  12. by   PalmettoMomRN
    Please dont leave hospice if it is what you love. You know as well as any of us that hospice is special and requires a special person and "we" certainly dont need to lose one of the good ones. I too was worked like a dog. I kept with it because I felt lucky I was given the chance as a new grad. But finally we were taken over by a corporation, things got even worse and I left. I did something different for four months then I moved to Illinois. I have now found an inpatient hospice. I will be working three 12 hour shifts per week and a weekend a month (with differential). No call. Potential for extra hours PRN. I agree with PP in that you should find somewhere that is more supportive with no on call if thats whats draining you. Good luck!
  13. by   TheBlackCahoosh
    Quote from PalmettoMomRN
    Please dont leave hospice if it is what you love. You know as well as any of us that hospice is special and requires a special person and "we" certainly dont need to lose one of the good ones. I too was worked like a dog. I kept with it because I felt lucky I was given the chance as a new grad.
    You took the words out of my mouth. Its like at face value we have had similar journeys into our calling
  14. by   TheBlackCahoosh
    stay strong, colleague! you will push thru this..
    I think you need to allow yourself to get respite. we differ in that you're in a family way, whereas I fly solo but I've found that when I have reached my limit verbalizing it to my own wonderful team and taking a day and a half completely to myself in like a hotel is the best tx.. like atropine to secretions. enjoy the silence, SLEEP, eat like you want (whether it be a greasy burger or a green smoothie), watch TV, or hell, should the mood strike catch up on some paperwork.. anything to bring you back to serenity. Remember the sun will rise the next day, even without you being there to make sure.
    Hope that helps

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