Quote from nurscee
How long do I need to work hospital to be qualified?
What skills to hone in on?
How to get my first job in a hospice?
How to find a good Hospice?
Regarding experience need, for me 2 years (or close to it were needed)...I think that a year would probably be enough. (After 2 years, however, I am still wondering if I am ready--I just started at Hospice--but that's just my on fears).
Skills needed would be: IV starts, Lab draws (this one you might not get in a Hospital setting but ask the Lab to teach you how if they will), Blood sugars (my hospital did these so I had to refresh but these are easy), Wounds and central line dressing changes are done frequently, Foley Caths. I'm sure there are many other things but if you are proficient in these things you will less likely need to call for back up as often. The most important skill is communication...therapeutic, empathetic listening skills!
For finding your first job...I sent emails to every surrounding county to see availability and went from there---fortunately the hospice I wanted to work at was the one who needed someone.
In finding a good Hospice...I would say that patient care must come first at all costs...How do they handle patients who cannot pay--do they turn anyone away, do they cut corners in trying to save money...also-what can of pain control do they use and are they open to new methods (our hospice uses methodone treatments, lots of various gels for the wrists and dilutes medicines to use in droppers by mouth, any kind of injection is avoided if at all possible and patients determine what treatments will and won't be done...their rights are respected in every area and their choices are priority. Also I think important is community support--our Hospice is ran solely on donations and we do only one fundraiser a year (our census runs around 100 patients and our budget for next year is 1.6 million--this from donations plus the one fundraiser). We allow pets, children, smoking, alcohol in our on site Hospice acute facility...all these things add up to putting patients first.
Hope this has helped some! More seasoned Hospice nurses could tell you more about skills needed but so far this is what perspective I have gained. GOOD LUCK!!!