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New Hospice nurse, all tips welcome!

Hospice   (3,146 Views 11 Comments)
by Katieac1112 Katieac1112 (New Member) New Member

349 Visitors; 1 Post

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I am starting my new hospice job in a couple weeks. Im a brand new nurse, any advice, reading material or experiances would be great. I dont want to fail, i have heard great things about hospice and want to set my roots here!... Thanks ladies and gents. By the way its inpatient if that makes a diff.

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RNBearColumbus has 13 years experience as a ADN and works as a Hospice RN.

2 Likes; 7,273 Visitors; 245 Posts

I don't work in an IP setting, but here are a few things that helped me when I started with Hospice a few months ago.

Check out http://hpna.advancingexpertcare.org The web site of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. There is some good information and resources there.

Get comfortable with comfort meds. Medications like morphine, Ativan, Haldol etc. A lot of nurses (especially new ones) have been taught to believe that these medications should be used sparingly, and that they can hasten death. For that reason, some nurses are reluctant to use them. The more you know about these medications and what they are used for in the hospice setting, the better prepared you will be to care for your patients.

Realize that for our patients, the destination is not in doubt. It is your job as a hospice nurse to make sure that they get there in a Cadillac, and not a wheelbarrow.

Hone your listening skills. You will learn more about what your patient's need and want by listening to them and their families.

Remember that you are not just the nurse for the patient in the bed, but for the family as well.

Familiarize yourself with some of the top diagnosis for which people are admitted to hospice. Review the disease process, medications, etc. Get familiar with how these conditions are managed once a patient is on hospice. You will need to teach your patient's and families about them as well.

Good luck

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LeO rN bSn works as a RN Case Manager, Hospice.

1,785 Visitors; 42 Posts

A lot of advice can be given, but only one thing you have to remember. At the end of the day, you're main focus is patient comfort at the end of life, not the family's nor yours.

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658 Visitors; 13 Posts

Textbook of palliative nursing-Ferrell and coyle

Obtain through Compare New and Used Book Prices | Buy, Rent, Sell Textbooks. I paid &7-$10 for copies I've obtained. Over the years when I precepted new nurses I've purchased this book for them it really helps as for the palliative medications that we use for the emergency kits familiarize yourself with all of the medications and their uses. Levsin is great for nausea. Not just secretions. Never give haldol to Parkinson's Pt or any kind of movement disorder.

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vampiregirl has 7 years experience as a BSN and works as a Hospice.

19 Likes; 13,023 Visitors; 647 Posts

Welcome to hospice nursing!!

HPNA membership provides a wealth of info. HPNA

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1 Like; 1,396 Visitors; 33 Posts

I'm glad you posted this question. I just started my new hospice position as an RN case manager. Do any of you experienced hospice nurses have tips on case management?

I am brand new to both after having been in the clinic and bedside of pediatric nursing. My new position is will have me caring at the bedside and "case managing".

Thank you in advance and hope the original poster is doing well! Could you give an update??

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nuangel1 has 30+ years experience and works as a Hospice Case Manager.

1 Like; 12,672 Visitors; 698 Posts

after being nurse 30 years last 15 in ED .I just started a Hospice Case Manager position recently.

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LaurieCRNP2002 has 15 years experience and works as a Nurse Practitioner.

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For those of you who are case managers for home hospice--if your company uses Relias for your online training, there is a module on case management that probably would be helpful.

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452 Visitors; 11 Posts

I'm also a new nurse but I have worked in Hospice for about 6 months now, so still learning. But here are a few things I've learned in my short time so far:

Be mindful that the patient can probably hear everything you are saying during their last days/hours

Be sensitive and patient with family that need a lot of teaching

Do things slow and always tell the patient what you are doing - it gives them dignity

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vampiregirl has 7 years experience as a BSN and works as a Hospice.

19 Likes; 13,023 Visitors; 647 Posts

On 2/20/2018 at 11:00 AM, sonicleese said:

I'm glad you posted this question. I just started my new hospice position as an RN case manager. Do any of you experienced hospice nurses have tips on case management?

Different agencies have different case management expectations and different structures. In addition to your mentor's suggestions, I would recommend talking to other case manager's to find out their tips, tricks and systems. I just started at a new agency, but from previous experience my case management was a combination of ideas "borrowed" from other case managers, tips I've gained from other sources (allnurses) and my own spin on things. The most important thing is figure out a "system" that works for you!

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