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LPN NEW TO HOSPICE

I'm a LPN with 2 years of skilled nursing experience and 1 year of Dialysis experience. I recently accepted a full time night position with a hospice company. I wanted to know from some more experienced nurses anything they wish they knew before starting or any tips to offer. Would love to hear from some LPN's as I have not been able to find many posts from LPN's working in hospice.

Thanks

HAM_sandwich specializes in Hospice, LTC.

Hi there!

I've been in hospice for about 3 years now and I love it. I love having the opportunity to actually spend time with Pts/families and get to connect with them and, hopefully, being of service during a challenging transition.

I think the biggest hurdle I had to get over when I first started was going into peoples' homes. You have to kind of balance being respectful of their space, being open and comfortable, and still doing your tasks. I try to make my assessment as conversational as possible. Families, for the most part, just want to do everything they can to care for their loved one and can have a lot of anxiety about that so whenever possible I try to point out what an excellent job they're doing. Managing family anxieties and expectations is just as important as managing your patient's symptoms. Under-promise and over-deliver because there is nothing more crushing than disappointing a grieving family.

Trust your instincts when you think something is wrong. You'll see some drug diversion, elder abuse, self-neglect, etc. You may be called into homes in the worst parts of town or see bug infestations or animal hoarding. Keep yourself safe and ensure the patient is safe, obviously, but otherwise you just have to meet people where they are.

Collaborate with your IDG (especially the other disciplines!) whenever possible.

Whenever possible, I love hearing stories about what people were like when they were younger or what someone's favorite memory of their loved one is. This may give you some insight on a possible legacy project, also.

Lastly, and most importantly, make sure you're doing some kind of self-care. You will be hit with waves of other peoples emotions and if you don't have a way of unplugging from that you'll get burned out quickly.

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