Hi everyone! I'm doing research here in UK on the factors which attract people to hospice work/palliative care. Doing qualitative interviews in UK but would be very interested to hear from hospice nurses anywhere what it was that brought you into the work, and to read about your personal journey.
Oct 24, '06
I went into Hospice when my mom's prognosis didn't look good. I feared the unknown. I wanted to be prepared to help my mom have the most comfort in what I thought would be her last year of life. Thankfully, she is doing well, and I found Hospice to be the "Florence Nightingale" of all the areas of nursing I've tried. Good luck with your research.
Oct 24, '06
I worked in long term care after graduating. After 5 years of that, I felt like I was ready for a new challenge. The local hospice sponsored a pain management seminar and that got me interested. When an opening came up soon after I thought it would be great to be really able to focus in on providing comfort and support at end of life. I wanted to be able to have relationships with my patients/families rather than rushing in for just 5 minutes at a time.
Jan 12, '09
I agree with Aimeee on the part about being able to spend time with the patients. I have worked at a long term facility for over 16 years and I'm tired of always being pushed for time. I have always loved taking care of the Hospice patients because I feel we are all connected and that the spirit goes on after death. I look at death as a release and the suffering ended. I do not even let my pt. frown while they are in the active stage. I make sure they have a smooth forehead and even respirations if at all possible. I simply take care of them as I would want to be taken care of.
People that have a life threatening illness have a ....how can I say this...a type of energy they put out...where you the nurse feels it has been a privilege to take care of them! You just feel closer to God or the true meaning of life.
Death is a part of life and the hospice pt. has a true understanding or glow within them. However...the hospice pt. I've taken care of have mostly been of an older age.
I have taken care of many pt. in the active stage and observed them looking at or at times talking to someone in the room I can't see.
I have taken care of pt. that were a full code and died in the hospital and been brought back and they immediately changed their advanced directive to NO CODE! They tell me that if they had known what awaited them and the beautiful/loving experience that can't even be put into words... they would of NEVER signed the paper for a full code.
Hope this helps you 'hospicegirl' as I could go on and on why I love hospice nursing = )
Jan 13, '09
I don't know if this would be helpful or not as I'm still a student with hopes of being in hospice one day.
Hospice is my main reason for going into nursing. My grandfather had very advanced cancer, was given a few weeks to live, and sent home on hospice care. The care he received and the peaceful, painless way he passed because of hospice were such blessings. The nurses were all phenomenal, deeply caring, and patient even when my grandmother complained incessantly about them, often times becoming irrational about grandpa's care (part of the grieving process for her, I'm sure).
A friend of mine went directly into hospice after graduating because she also witnessed a family member pass under hospice care and feels the same way about it as I do.
I was 28 when my grandfather passed so I wasn't a dreaming child, but I thought the nurses were nothing less than angels for him in his final days at home.
Just a perspective from a hopeful future hospice nurse!
Feb 18, '09
Hi I am a UK Hospice nurse.
I have worked as a bank nurse on and off for about 5 years now at my local hospice. But I recently left my full time job in an Oncology hospital to work there full time. My main reason was it seems to me the only establishment that allows a nurse to nurse and care how they truly want to... pure holisitic care. I am so glad I made the change, I love it, it is well staffed, All the staff are wonderful and caring and the team work is fantastic. All the different disciplines are valued and respected for their own attributes.
It is a place where you can get a 100% job satisfaction as you are able to care and nurse exactly as you want to because there are the resources there to ensure you can. Hope this helps.
Feb 20, '09
I have been a Hospice nurse for 9 years now but didn't want to do it initially. I( and this may sound corny) was called to this work and fought it until God grabbed my attention and made me go to hospice. Well, I love it and will continue to do it until I retire in 3-4 years. It is to me the epitome of nursing, the opportunity to help patients make the transition from here to the eternal life. I have learned so much from them and the caregivers and about myself through this experience. I love to listen to the stories and would love to write a book about what I've heard. I sing to them and comfort them and their families. Teaching is also a big part of our care and I never wanted to teach either, but this is so different from teaching in a classroom. We all say that you have to have a Hospice heart to be able to do thei type of work and you either love it or not. Hope this helps.:redpinkhe
Feb 21, '09
Like a couple others, a big impetus leading to my going into hospice, into nursing for that matter, was my experience as PCG for a family member a decade and a half ago. I was clueless and scared poopless. Hospice was incredible, and I now work for the agency that helped us out so much.
Recently I was at a home for an agitated Pt, and nothing we were doing could calm him. I got new orders a couple times, etc. Very frustrating. Finally he just ran out of energy, I think. After a long wait for an ambulance--why is it they get slammed with 911 calls when I need them, lol-- we transfered him to our inpatient facility.
I was there for just about my entire shift, and a couple hours more, but it was a very rewarding night. I had the opportunity to get to know the family, talk to a grandson about his desire to go into SAR, and ease the fears of the Pt's daughter about the dying process. Those fears were so similar to mine years ago.
I've also found that in hospice you get thank-yous from families that are as sincere as any you'll ever receive. It's just very rewarding to know that what you do does truly help others in their difficult times.
Last edit by rngolfer53 on Feb 21, '09
Mar 5, '09
If it's not too personal, could you elaborate on how God called you and got your attention? I belive I'm having something similar happening to me and would love to hear your story.
Mar 5, '09
Sometimes I can be a tough nut to crack but here goes. I kept getting drawn to the job postings on the board and my eyes were drawn to the same posting, Hospice Nurse. At the time I was a Director of OB/GYN/PEDS/NURSERY so when I saw the posting I would ignore it, however I was drawn time and again to the board. I laughed about it and told Him that He had a funny sense of humor, what did I know about Hospice nursing? Anyway my boss and I had several disagreements after I had been out of work for three weeks after surgery and I could see our relationship was not going to work any longer and she suggested I try Home Health which I absolutely hated in school. Well I rode with a nurse for a day and enjoyed it and decided to transfer out of the hospital to Home Care and ended up with Hospice. It was much more traumatic than the words express but He uses people sometimes when we don't hear Him. I have done very well and He has given me the knowledge and tools to be able to do my job and care for my patients. Hospice is my heart.:redpinkhe
Mar 5, '09
I'm so happy for you that you found where you are meant to be. I hope to find that too one day.
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