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Hospice nursing not easy!

Hospice   (979 Views 9 Comments)
by benharold1 benharold1, BSN (Member)

benharold1 has 35 years experience as a BSN.

801 Visitors; 29 Posts

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I have seen many post that refer to hospice nursing as an alternative to an easier, less stress field of nursing.  I have worked in an inpatient Hospice unit for the last 15 years and believe me it is terribly stressful. Our workload has steadily increased. We never have enough staff to give the patient the time and care they deserve. I think areas like homecare and admissions are less stressful because the interaction is more 1 on 1.

Does anyone else here work in an inpatient unit? Is it stressful and with inadequate staffing and high-turnover ?

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pmabraham has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care.

2 Articles; 45,194 Visitors; 2,498 Posts

I work as a visiting RN case manager with most of my patients living in a private residence (trailer, apartment, regular home, etc.).  I appreciate that I have one-on-one time with each patient and family.

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kat7464 has 5+ years experience and specializes in Hospice, home health, LTC.

2,694 Visitors; 61 Posts

I work in a large inpatient hospice facility and we are crazy busy and understaffed. I am running almost my entire 13-hours shift. Gotta tell you, I do love it though. By the end of my 3-day stretch I am exhausted. I have worked as a CM seeing hospice patients in the field but it was Little House on the Prairie nursing. While I love 1:1 with the patient, there was little about it that was challenging. Unless, of course, you count the families. There was plenty of drama and challenge in that arena.

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benharold1 has 35 years experience as a BSN.

801 Visitors; 29 Posts

Sad thing is I guess I am not cut out for the stress anymore.

I think I am a good nurse and give the patient good care but working 2-4 hours overtime just gets to you

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178 Visitors; 46 Posts

Not easier or less stressful at all, just a different kind of stress. I really believe that some nurses are just cut out for a certain type of work. I knew an ER nurse who tried hospice and to be honest it was a terrible fit for her, and at the same time I think I am a good fit for hospice but I think I’d be terrible in the ER.

The driving really gets to me (I live in one of the worst traffic regions in the country), balancing the schedule to meet everyone’s needs, and the chaos that sometimes comes with providing care in unpredictable home environments. I did wound care at a curbside the other day while the patient sat in his truck because the patient didn’t want anyone in his home while a wall was being fixed. That was interesting!!

Families can be hard on nurses in a hospital or inpatient setting also, but it’s very different when you are in their domain. You don’t have a supervisor over your shoulder, but sometimes you wish you did when dealing with some challenging patients and families. 

Maybe its ‘slower’ in the sense that you only deal with one patient at a time, but in my experience it’s usually a wild ride day to day. 

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benharold1 has 35 years experience as a BSN.

801 Visitors; 29 Posts

Hello,

Thank you for responding to my post.  I read with great interest what other nurses experiences are.  I work in an inpatient Hospice unit. I charge on some days , but the days I work the floor I usually have 5-6 patients which includes an admission. Our management is wanting us to take 7 patients and charge nurse at least a partial assignment.(sometimes full assignment) We are crazy busy and get a lot of admissions particularly during the last few hours of our shift.  Usually we don't have the opportunity to eat lunch during out 12 plus hour shift.  I am looking for a career transition either more 1:1 care in hospice or completely different area of nursing. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I might consider doing admissions instead of homecare.  Thank you for your service and care to families and patients. 

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Kittypower has 8 years experience.

361 Visitors; 8 Posts

On 4/18/2019 at 4:34 PM, kat7464 said:

While I love 1:1 with the patient, there was little about it that was challenging

I have found plenty in home hospice that is challenging. Patients in their home experience respiratory distress, severe terminal agitation, severe pain, etc. Getting those taken care of can be challenging, particularly when the medication you'd really like to use isn't available because you just got the order and had to order it STAT from the pharmacy. It can take 2 hours to get the medication STAT. Sometimes, in the middle of trying to deal with a crisis, I get a phone call that another patient is having an issue that also needs to be dealt with. It's plenty challenging. But every day isn't always like that. Some days go smoothly, others are a bit rougher. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do and find it very rewarding. But I wouldn't say there's not much challenging about it.

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221 Visitors; 7 Posts

On 4/14/2019 at 9:18 AM, pmabraham said:

I work as a visiting RN case manager with most of my patients living in a private residence (trailer, apartment, regular home, etc.).  I appreciate that I have one-on-one time with each patient and family.

Can you share or PM me what company you work for? Thanks for all of your positive encouraging posts

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pmabraham has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care.

2 Articles; 45,194 Visitors; 2,498 Posts

Done

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