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makeitwork BSN, RN

Hospice and palliative care
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makeitwork has 9 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Hospice and palliative care.

makeitwork's Latest Activity

  1. makeitwork

    Best handbooks/textbooks/resources for a new Hospice Nurse?

    When studying for my CHPN exam I used the HPNA Core Curriculum book (ISBN-13: 978-1-4652-7728-2). I felt this book filled so many knowledge gaps related to hospice for me and still feel all hospice nurses should have this book as a hospice primer.
  2. makeitwork

    Curious: Chronic constipation

    It has been quite a while since your post. Has anything worked?
  3. makeitwork

    2017 Winter Nursing Article Contest: 4 Lucky Winners $150 Each

    Are you able to tell us the status of the 2017 winter writing contest? I haven't seen anything on it for quite a while?
  4. makeitwork

    What Has Happened to Hospice?

    I had a caseload of 20 only after we lost a couple of case managers to attrition and it was not for very long. In the past five years I have worked for two hospice agencies and both would do what they could to keep case loads in the 10-14 range. I can't imagine providing the desired care and follow-up with orders, etc. with a constant case load of 18-20.
  5. makeitwork

    What would you do?

    To me this is a bit of a no-brainer. Go to where you are being led. We have to define "taking a step back." I see this as you stepping forward to where your heart is leading you. Stepping up is not always stepping forward. I stepped "down" from an supervisory position to allow me to have the direct patient care I got into nursing for in the first place. What is interesting is that I then "stepped out" to another employer, doing the same direct care job, and I am happier than I ever was and I am now making more money and have more family time than ever before. I would like to call that stepping forward.
  6. makeitwork

    A "Thank You"

    I wish you all the best in your career! I hope the field that chooses you will be as rewarding as it has for me.
  7. makeitwork

    A "Thank You"

    You are welcome...it is an honor to care for our patients. I am sorry for the loss of your family member. The field of hospice can always use more good nurses. May I recommend you give it a little time, say six months, until making a move? In fact, there are some hospice agencies that won't hire a nurse with a recent loss without some sort of waiting period.
  8. makeitwork

    Case Load Home Care

    I am in Washington State and have worked for two different hospice agencies. Each one tried to keep us at 12 cases or less, but, I have had as many as 20 for a very short time when we were understaffed. I hope that helps.
  9. makeitwork

    Get to shadow a hospice nurse, advice?

    I am sorry I did not see your post sooner. How did the shadowing go?
  10. makeitwork

    Palliative Standing Orders

    What stands out for me is the fentanyl patch. If a patient is already taking one or more of the short-acting analgesics, a 24-hour morphine equivalent is calculated and then a fentanyl equianalgesic dose can be calculated allowing better initial pain management with the patch. The automatic 12mcg fentanyl patch may waste time getting ahead of the pain. As I think about it, I suppose the 12mcg patch may be better than nothing, but, I would want a more accurate dose initially on board. Just a thought...
  11. makeitwork

    Hospice Nursing - How Could I Not?

    I'm so glad you experienced the feeling!!! I have clipped and saved obits with the family honoring me by including me in them. I keep 'em with cards received. About once or twice a year I come across them in a file while looking for something else and I have to read them--I can't help myself. You kinda' sound like you may be new to hospice, I highly recommend the obit/card file--it can help when you feel emotionally spent.
  12. makeitwork

    HH or Home Hospice? Which one??

    Over the last four-plus years in hospice I have met several co-workers that worked in the ICU. The common thread was that they were tired of seeing patients whose families would not let their loved on go and they kept them on life support even if the patient did not want it. "Vegetable Row" was one term I heard. Some of these patients were there for months. These nurses felt it was cruel to the patients and a huge waste of resources--and they got tired of it. They mostly made the move to hospice because they felt it was the next natural step in their careers. To provide comfort to end of life patients is just one aspect of hospice nursing. Should you choose hospice, you will, or should, begin to look at the family/household as the patient. Hospice nursing is more encompassing than administering morphine and lorazepam. I will tell you that I commonly spend as much time, or more, with family members than with the actual patient. Oftentimes, comforting and educating family provides me with as much job satisfaction as successful symptom management--and I get a lot of job satisfaction in this field. We also coordinate care with the team which can include the chaplain, MSW, hospice aide, volunteer, comfort therapy, and, of course, the patients MD. After all that, I will ask you to feel if you have a calling toward hospice and that you are not just looking for a refuge. Follow your heart. You will chose hospice if you do find you have a hospice heart. I wish you the best.
  13. makeitwork

    Hospice Nursing - How Could I Not?

    I am curious, what do you mean "when your school nurse time is up?" Are you under contract?
  14. makeitwork

    Hospice Nursing - How Could I Not?

    Thank you for the comment Sue. Interestingly, I have recently switched to a new agency and, after orientation and getting my own patients, I noticed a lack of self-worth. I wasn't sure why. As some of my patients entered the actively dying stage, their families really started to express appreciation for the support I provided. I then had that emotional "shot in the arm" again and I was easily back in stride. It's funny how this job has you reflect so much. I didn't think I needed that much positive reinforcement--I sure didn't earlier in my life. Again, maybe it's the job...
  15. makeitwork

    How many visits per day? (Case Management)

    "The majority of your visits will be 30-45 minutes." A short visit for me would be 45 minutes. We not only talk to the patient/family providing emotional support and education, but, we do the assessment, medication reconciliation, orders (as needed), calls to the pharmacy for med delivery, maybe fill a medi-set, wound care if needed, and any other treatment required. My visits are usually over an hour long. If I was just seeing patients in a facility where staff nurses are doing treatments and getting most orders then I would consider "5-6 visits/day" an easy day. It is good to keep things in perspective. I agree with HeavenlyRN.
  16. makeitwork

    Do you hospice nurses attend funerals of patients?

    I rarely attend memorials or funerals of my patients. I need that separation/work-life balance. When I have attended, I try to sit or stand in the back and learn more about the patient's life--these events certainly allow for that. I feel this is the family's time and I was there for just a small part of the patient's life. Interestingly, it always happens that when a family member sees me, they either grab me by the arm and make me sit in front and/or they introduce me to almost everyone in attendance...so much for being low key. It shows what an effect a hospice nurse can have.

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