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Vtachy1 Vtachy1 (Member)

In the honeymoon stage?

Hospice   (3,313 Views 5 Comments)
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Only my second week on the job, but am I morbid because I just love dying people? I love to take care of them and their families.

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Only my second week on the job, but am I morbid because I just love dying people? I love to take care of them and their families.

you're so new, you are definitely still in the "honeymoon phase".

many new hospice nurses, come to us with much enthusiasm, speak of feeling "honored and privileged", and strongly feel this is their "calling".

a yr later (if they make it that long), several are burnt out.

we try to warn them, not to get too emotionally involved, but i suppose that only comes with time and experience.

anyways, at some point, many do inexplicably fatigued and/or anxious, agitated, depressed, etc.

it really can take its toll on you, and this happens more often than not.

and so, i too will warn you, try to create that invisible wall...

where you will strive to provide only the very best of care...

while consciously rejecting the forces that you can us all in.:)

it's particulary dangerous when you've established an ongoing relationship with the pt/family.

when you go home, shut off your phone and leave everything at work.

i cannot emphasize that enough.

if you're spiritual, surrender yourself to God.

do yoga/meditate, phsical activity, favorite hobby...whatever it takes to destress.

because while you are continuing to 'love all of this', it can and will dominate you and your life.

and you never saw it coming.

so stay healthy and aware.

if you follow the aforementioned advice, then the honeymoon can last.

best of everything.


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Yes, pace yourself. Practice establishing impeccable boundaries now.

I prefer to graduate from the "honeymoon" phase into the "old married coot" phase.

You know, the times when you still love your partner but wonder why, how much, and for how much longer. Those are the times when I am reminded that the relationship depends almost entirely upon my actions taken to preserve , strengthen, and maintain it.

The same is true for an emotionally, psychologically, and physically demanding job like hospice. We can only preserve, strengthen, and maintain our professional relationship with hospice if we keep it in it's proper place and perspective.

Good luck!

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You are definitely in the honeymoon stage. But.. that's not a bad thing. keep your barriers up and keep your internal happiness #1.

I practice certain aspects that have kept things fresh. I have been doing Hospice for 8 years.

** First of all.. do NOT work on your time off. Meaning.. keep your phone off when you are not working. DO not place calls on your time off unless you absolutely have NO choice. Otherwise. Off goes the phone. Do NOT "chart" on your time off.. it's your time. I had a manager who kept calling me on my days off.... I screen the calls NONE of them were urgent.. She finally got the message that I am not available on my days off.

**Keep your paperwork out of your house. Do it at the patients home, bedside or curbside in your car. Do NOT ever bring it home.

** Under no circumstances do you ever.. ever give out your personal cell phone or contact info. I had a patient's daughter who got a hold of my email and was emailing me with concerns that should of been called to triage. Families.. are often clueless that your job ends at a certain time.. You are off.

** I have never attended a patient funeral. For a reason. I have done my job. I have helped them to the best of my ability to help them die peacefully and with dignity. I have helped the family up until this point. It's the bereavement counselors position to follow up with bereaved families. It's allot of work to constantly experience grief. To be a chronic funeral attendee is a sure fire way to make your job more draining than need be. I have seen this happen with one of my colleagues.. attending massive amounts of funerals to "help with family closure". Honestly? it's draining.

**Maintain a hobbie. Cycling, walking, yoga whatever. You can't think too much about work while youa re doing this. You are giving your emotions a break from your high demanding job...

These things help. If you need a break from what you do.. take a mental health day and make it all about you.. whatever that means.. often.. its me in my jammies..haning out with my dear pets. :) The best for me therapy.

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I have done hospice for 10 years (4 years full time and 6 years part time. I have a full time job in another area of nursing) and I am still on the honeymoon. I attend funerals when I can, to lend support to the families, and I love to take care of dying people. It is one of the few areas of nursing where you can immediately see the difference that you make in a person's life and you can relieve suffering and advocate for those who don't have the strength or energy to advocate for themselves. I truly love hospice and still count it an honor and privilege to be able to care for the dying and their families. I get a rush like no other when a patient really allows me to comfort them and to accompany them to the very edge and watch them cross over to the other side. I don't do paperwork on my off days and 98% of the time I don't maintain relationships with the families past the funeral. Families don't call me when I'm not working because I really emphasize the team approach to patient care and pass the baton to the next person when I am not on duty. I work with a great hospice and each team member has unique gifts and most of the staff gives 110% to their jobs.

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