questions about hospice


I am an LPN and was looking to get into hospice. When you sign up with a hospice agency do you work when you want. Is it like registry, where you get to work as little or as much as you want? What is the pay like? What is Hospice like?? How long is each visit. Sorry so many questions, just wondering, I am considering it and wanted some mmore information on it. Thanks!

The Hospice I work for is out of our hospital and we are full time nurses paid the same as our hospital nurses. Our agency does not employ any LPN's you might want to check on that. We require at least two years experience on a medical floor usually Oncology/Med/Surg but we happen to have several ER nurses with us. Visits average 1 hour but more or less depending upon need of patients. Need to be a well grounded nurse with good assessment skills for this work and a very special spirit.


197 Posts

Specializes in hospice. Has 13 years experience.

My hospice makes broad use of LPNs (of which I am one.) I strongly suggest that you have hospital experience before working in hospice. School just doesn't prepare you for what you will see, and the fast decisions you need to make. You will always have a RN to call for backup, but sometimes you have to make the decision that handles the immediate situation. There's no place like a hospital to prepare you for that.

I work for the Continuous Care team. We spend 8-16 hours with one patient, usually in their home, occasionally in an ALF or nursing home. We are a support team to the Primary Care Nurse, who calls us in when a pt is actively dying, or there is a change in condition, or if the pt has just come home from the hospital or hospice house. Many times there are new meds, new equipment, a newly bedbound pt, etc, etc. and the family needs teaching... sometimes lots of teaching. We are the eyes and ears for the PCN, and usually, if we call, they listen. I would not have been comfortable in this position without hospital experience, as well as home health experience. (Home health agency work is a great way to get experience.) During my shifts it seems that I am either jumping all the time, or watching paint dry. The work can be VERY boring. (I've completed my entire RN coursework via distance program while doing this job.)

The hospice I work for also uses LPNs in the Hospice Houses. All positions are offered PRN or full-time.

Again, I'd encourage you to get hospital or LTC experience before working for hospice. (I think my hospice wants you to have 2 years experience.) I work with two new-grad LPNs, but they are mature, with previous careers and lots of life experience, and both graduated in the top of their class. They are truly exceptions.

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