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New grad, start in hospice?

Hospice   (1,229 Views 4 Comments)
by CJisRNBSN CJisRNBSN (New Member) New Member

CJisRNBSN has 3 years experience .

325 Profile Views; 4 Posts

Good morning everyone,

I also posted this question to "General Nursing."

As a newly graduate nurse would working in hospice care right away be a bad idea? Hospice care is the reason why I decided to advance myself in nursing. Before graduating I worked as an LVN in long term care and absolutely loved the hospice aspect of it. My fear is if I start in hospice instead of med-surg that I may regret that decision later on. If in the future I would like to work in a different specialty would hospice care be a "bad" starting point?

Thank you

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nrcnurse has 13 years experience and specializes in hospice.

194 Posts; 6,575 Profile Views

Your LTC experience is valuable to hospice, for sure, but hospital experience is very important to the job. You are expected to know about/recognize signs and symptoms of a variety of disease processes, some you may have barely covered in school. It is NOT just holding the hand of someone who is actively dying. Many times you care for patients who may be on service for an extended period, who don't die but continue to demonstrate decline. Give yourself the experience of working in a hospital. You will be a better nurse for it.

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

2 Articles; 2,504 Posts; 45,478 Profile Views

As someone with just 1.5 years hospital experience, I would recommend it would be ok to start off as a new grad in hospice with the right company/agency. I have friends that started right out of nursing school in hospice and they are fine.

Hospital nurses focus on curring, lack the autonomy of most hospice nurses, and working in the hospital doesn't guarantee any experience that will apply to hospice. In relation to "you are expected to know," families often don't have a healthcare background, and they just want their loved one comfortable. Therefore, you don't have to be able to know in advance what might happen -- because it may NEVER happen, you just deal with symptoms that are presenting in an effort to ensure comfort. It's a completely different ball game (so to speak) than hospital nursing.

Thank you.

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KJoRN81 has 5 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Med Psych; hospice & tele previously.

143 Posts; 7,025 Profile Views

Hospice is amazing! My goal was to be a hospice nurse, and after 3 years in hospitals (med surg, ICU, tele), I got to where I was hoping to be: inpatient hospice. It can take time to find the right position, and hospice is so much more than what many people think it is. I have had some challenging days getting my patient's symptoms under control, for example, and I used my previous experience to better plan care for my patient.

I would definitely say get some experience first.

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