My experience with Hospice was personal as my mother was a hospice patient this past year. She was, by the way, an LVN here in California for many years. The hospice RN who was her case manager, came here to our home the first day and spent, I think, almost 2 hours evaluating the situation. By the end of the day, we got a delivery of all kinds of assistive equipment that included a hospital bed, commode, wheelchair, overbed table and oxygen. That RN worked FAST. She also called later in the day to inform us of what other nursing personnel would be coming to the house to help out. On her next visit, she came with a carton of chocolate Ensure and drugs. She told us not to buy any food for mom without checking with her first since they had all kinds of food in their warehouse. On the night my mother died, it was an early Sunday morning, I called the RN on call as I had been instructed to do. She was here in an hour, pronounced my mother, took the narcotics and destroyed them and made sure I knew what needed to be done as far as body removal, etc. I had already made arrangements with a local funeral home anyway. I have since gotten calls periodically from everyone of the healthcare workers from hospice that had been in and out of our home. When it comes to patience and listening they put the rest of the nursing world to shame, let me tell you. They were EXCELLENT. I spoke with a cousin who had hospice for her husband a few years ago and her experience was the same. She couldn't say nicer things about the hospice they used.
I've never wanted to do any kind of home health nursing myself. The thought of going into other people's homes just doesn't appeal to me. You have to be very non-judgmental and accepting of people's personal habits and ways to do that kind of work. If this is what you aspire to, however, I commend you and say "go for it". This is becoming a very large part of nursing today. I should also say that prior to my mother's final diagnosis with terminal cancer we had one home health agency that sent out a social worker who absolutely stunk and was quite unprofessional. When I called to complain to the owner of the agency about her, all she did was argue with me and defend the social worker. I reported them both to their respective licensing boards in the state of California.
And, on that happy note--not--let me say, welcome to allnurses!