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Is Hospice nursing for me?

Hospice   (488 Views 3 Comments)
by ascty87 ascty87 (New Member) New Member Nurse

176 Profile Views; 3 Posts

  I am a new nurse, currently working on a Med Surge floor until the Med-Psych floor position I was hired onto opens. I am a little older than the average new grad (31) and thinking about where I would like to work after I put in some time on my current floor.  I have a previous psych degree and worked as a case worker for an outpatient behavioral health center previously. I never really loved the hospital setting in school, but I wanted to give it at least a year (so I will be staying here for a bit)  to be sure that I wanted to go a different direction (I LOVE all the things you can do in nursing). I felt like I needed to "Work the floor" to give myself some confidence before going to a specialty like Hospice where I felt my assessment skills should be better. My biggest strength in nursing is definitely patient communication/education, and sometimes I don't feel like I get to utilize these skills because there isn't always time on my floor. I definitely feel drawn to a few specialties; Hospice, drug/alcohol rehab, or community nursing in another capacity. The Hospice team that provided care to my Mom made me really want to work in that capacity, but I wanted to know, what do you like about Hospice? Do you feel like you get more patient interaction? I know the charting and on call hours can be a lot, but I would love to get a feel for how you feel about your position. Thank You!!

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jschut has 20 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in A little bit of everything....

2,738 Posts; 18,801 Profile Views

I have worked out in the field in hospice and am now inpatient.

The upside? I love going to peoples homes and educating them and answering questions and helping them get what they need to care for their loved one. Many people are quite appreciative of your efforts and may even become lifelong friends. I don't mind driving, so the mileage is a huge perk!

The downfall is that there may be the more difficult patients that want you to be at their beck and call 24/7. There may be the family members that don't think you are doing enough. There may be more dangerous situations than you are encountering, such as animals, bug infestations, drug diversion from family members, ghetto-type settings.... One of the biggest pitfalls to me is that your manager can call you and tell you that you have to get to another patients house ASAP that is a 2 hour drive away, and continue to call every 10 minutes because the family keeps calling, and when you finally arrive, the patient hasn't pooped in 2 days and the family is concerned.... (yes, it has happened). My biggest pet peeve was on call.... I know some wonderful nurses can handle it. I am not one of them. LOL!

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do! 🙂

 

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pmabraham has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care.

2 Articles; 2,513 Posts; 45,558 Profile Views

I used to work on a cardiac floor prior to making the switch to hospice.  I just recently passed the 1.5-year mark in hospice, and love it for the most part; it's hard to imagine doing anything else since switching.

RE: the previous poster on "One of the biggest pitfalls to me is that your manager can call you and tell you that you have to get to another patients house ASAP that is a 2-hour drive away" -- that's company dependent, not hospice overall.

Our families are educated prior to admission, on admission, and the 2nd visit after admission (and again if necessary) that while we are available 24x7 we DO NOT rush any visit.  We share when we are with a family/patient they have our entire attention, and we only look at our phones after we leave the visit (or when we have to unlock said phone to make calls for the current visit relating to the current visit).

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