Hospice Nursing as a New Nurse

  1. Hello,
    I have an interview for a home health hospice nurse coming up, and I wanted a little input/advice before I would take the job if it were offered to me.
    I have been an RN for almost 6 months and for that time I've been working on the pediatric floor at our local hospital. I always thought pediatrics would be the best fit for me, but over the last couple of months I've started to have some concerns. I'm working the night shift, which I know is contributing to some of my problems, but coming to work and being in the hospital setting is causing a lot of panic and anxiety.
    Before becoming an RN I was a CNA for almost 3 years at an assisted living facility and I loved it! I had some exposure to end of life care there as well and since then it has been an area of nursing that I am very interested in. Working night shift I don't have the interaction with my patients that I loved as a CNA. Also, a good majority of my patients are very young and unable to communicate even if they were awake. Part of what brought me to nursing was that as a CNA I developed good relationships with my patients and their families, but that's not something I'm getting in the hospital.
    I guess my question is, how are the stressor of home health nursing different from hospital nursing? If I'm having a hard time handling the pace of a hospital am I crazy to want to go to hospice nursing? Is 6 months of acute care experience enough to establish myself for home hospice nursing?
    Thanks for any and all input. I really want to make an informed decision regarding this job.
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    About ahagen94

    Joined: Nov '17; Posts: 3; Likes: 4

    4 Comments

  3. by   RNBearColumbus
    Starting in hospice after working for 6 months in pediatrics will be difficult, but doable. It all depends on how open and teachable you are. Your experience in LTC as a CNA will be some help, but you've never worked with that population as a nurse. Hospice is definitely not a "fluff" specialty and there will be a lot to learn and even UNlearn. ( Understanding comfort meds like morphine and Ativan for example.).

    Have you thought about working for a year or so in a skilled nursing environment or a med surg unit? I've done both over the years and found that experience invaluable when I made the jump to home hospice.
  4. by   ahagen94
    Thank you for your input! Yes, I have considered skilled care nursing - maybe that's something I should look into more.
  5. by   Danni10
    I agree it will be difficult if you have only done peds for 6 months. With hospice, you are basically on your own, having to make decisions by yourself, you can call or email a manager but a lot of times it's just you. You really need a good med/surg, ICU or ER background. With hospice, the family look to you for answers and solve problems, even with experience hospice is very difficult. It's doable but won't be easy.
  6. by   PotatoRN
    I had the same issue and same question. I have asked others nurses and they told me the same as above responses, and that even with 1yr as an RN it will be difficult. But you don't know until you try! Some take to things faster than others, especially if they are a good fit for that area. If you are good at working very independently that's a plus I'm sure. Goodluck, hope things go well either way! (PS did you end up trying hospice after all?)

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