Couple of questions....

  1. Hi everyone!
    I'm fairly new here at AN, and I have a couple questions for all you hospice nurses out there.
    Currently, I work in the hospital on a cardiac floor. I've been a nurse for a year now. Recently, our unit has been VERY short staffed, and we have all been getting mandated frequently (as in at least 1x/week). This is a huge issue for me b/c I do not have on call childcare, so to find out at 930 at night that I have to work til 730a is starting to be a huge issue and stressor for me.
    I have a friend from nursing school who is a hospice nurse, I'd guesstimate she's been doing it for 4-5mos now. Her employer is hiring, the job would be on call every other weekend from FRI at 4p to MON at 8a (I think those are the hours) and I would be paid for the entire 62.5 hours, whether I take call or not. The pay is 1/2 the hourly wage I make now. My friend said the most she's ever worked on her weekend is 35 hours.

    Does this sound typical pay/hours for hospice? I was thinking I could drop to PRN at the hospital and do this hospice job. Also, while I've chatted w/my friend, I'm curious what typical hospice visits are like. She told me she could be there anywhere from 30mins to 3-4 hours. Does this sound like ya'lls experience?

    Any tips or advice you could give me would be much appreciated!

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    About Morganalefey

    Joined: Jun '12; Posts: 126; Likes: 114
    rn; from US
    Specialty: ccu


  3. by   tewdles
    For your area/region that might be the going rate and practice. Not all on call hospice nurses are paid that way, some are paid an hourly stipend to take call ($3-$6/hr) and then are paid an RN wage plus shift, weekend, or holiday differentials as appropriate.

    In terms of what visits look like; that will be dependent upon the practice of the hospice, but typically the visits are urgent in nature to help families with pain or other symptom management issues. We often must do things like wound care, trach care, insert foleys, etc. In general, on call visits are "focused" visits: they are designed to address a specific concern or need that cannot wait until the next business day. Your friend is correct that the visits may be brief or lengthy, dependent upon the situation you discover when you arrive.

    Note that you will want to clarify the agency policy on nursing visits that last 4 hours...dependent upon what other activity has/will occur within that 24hr timeframe a 4 hour nursing visit could cause havoc with the requirements for continuous care.

    Why not take an oncall position with the hospice and maintain your prn status at the hospital until you determine that hospice is a good fit for you? Hospice nursing in the field is distinctly different from nursing in an acute care setting and not everyone enjoys it.
  4. by   Meliss214
    I currently work that shift. Definitely prefer these hrs compared to the m-f schedule. I'm responsible for doing admissions also so I usually work Mon and Tues doing paperwork. The worst part of this shift is having your sleep interrupted to go out on a call and then being expected to go full speed the following day with only 3 hrs of sleep. But fortunately that doesn't happen every weekend.