Hospice nurse role in death at home.

  1. Hi I'm new to hospice and and I work on call. I did do hospice years ago. My question is... After arriving at a death in pronouncing and wasting medications call the funeral home called the doctor and call the coroner. How many nurses wait until the funeral home gets there? When they're coping appropriately and the family needs private time at that time is it okay to ask their preference? Thanks for all your input
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    About cargalrn

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 52; Likes: 54


  3. by   pmabraham


    This is an excellent question just raised in Hospice Nursing Support Group Public Group | Facebook

    Here's what I do:

    1) Once on site, document mileage
    2) Enter the home and see how the family is doing, then assess for death and note time of death
    3) With family permission, immediately all the funeral home
    4) Then I call the primary care provider
    5) Then check if on family desires for when to have any equipment picked up, then work that out

    After that I fill out the death certificate portion that can be filled out along with a cheat sheet for the funeral home that includes the primary care provider contact information Only after that do I educate on med disposal for the family; most of the time they dispose of the medication on their time.

    If the funeral home is local, by now (30 to 60 minutes after my arrival), the funeral home personnel comes in, and I'm present through that portion. If they are not, I ask the family if they want me to stay with the exception of far-a-way funeral homes where I'm given an estimate of 3 to 6 hours for arrival of the funeral home staff; then I let the family know and typically they don't want me there for that long and they need private time.

    Thank you.
  4. by   cardiacfreak
    My companies policy is that we stay until the funeral home arrives and takes the person into their care. We do this for all patients including facility patients. I have waited 4hours before. We can contact our back up support system ie. RN, MSW, or Chaplain to come sit and wait if we need to go on another call. The only time I haven't stayed is with a patient who was in a hospital and the patient was sent to the morgue for organ donation.
  5. by   pmabraham
    The caveat doing that in our case is we have 4 to 6 (sometimes more) visits per day and if the death occurs during the work day, we have other visits to do. And if at night, most of us put in 8 to 10 hours during the day and will need to put in 8 to 10 hours the next day (unless the next day is a Saturday). So while we are paid hourly, not being robots would cause burn out.. again we do ask the families and the only times they say stay is for local pickup that typically occurs within 30 to no more than 60 minutes of our call.