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Southern Care Hospice

Posted

Specializes in Hospitalist.

Hey guys and gals,

If my interview went well, then I'm about to start my first hospice RN position. I was just wondering if any of you have had experience or heard anything about the company Southern Care Hospice. I've researched their website and they seem to be pretty well spread over the south and northeast US. And they've been around for a little over a decade, so they're not fly-by-night or anything. But I'm looking more for personal experience from you or any co-workers/friends. Thanks for any input! :typing

rnboysmom

Specializes in HOSPICE,MED-SURG, ONCOLOGY,ORTHOPAEDICS. Has 10 years experience.

Have worked for this corporation and won't comment on a public level. I can tell you that even huge corporate companies all function a little differently at local levels, so be sure that the local company practice is in line with the corporation practice and vice versa. Manager dynamics make a huge difference especially at local levels. On a more professional level, I have made several posts regarding questions you may want to have answered before you begin work with any hospice company, including this one. Best bet here is to ask to interview at least 2 different case managers (or a case manager and another discipline)with the company to be able to ask them these questions. This shouldn't be a problem if "there are no problems". What you have to remember is that you are a professional nurse, and if you want to be a hospice nurse, there are many different companies that can vary widely on policy and practice. The company you end up working with may determine your success as a hospice nurse.

1. What does your normal day look like? How many visits do you typicallly make in a day? What does your back-up look like if you run into an emergency during the day? Who does admissions? What allowances are made for regular visits if you do have an admission? Does management kick-in during staffing shortages or do they overload the nurses with the extra visits? How are nursing shortages handled?

If you get to interview the case managers--How happy are you with your

job? How many hours do you typically put in during a week? Do you take

paperwork home? Are you expected to take paperwork home? What does

a typical day look like for you? Visits? What is your caseload average? Do

you feel that your management is behind you and backs you? What is your

driving time on a typical day? Is the mileage aspect factored into your day?

2. Compare benefits against other hospice in the area. How likely are you to be able to get the day off if you are exhausted? Benefits don't seem important until you find out you can't access them. (a previous company I worked for offered a ton of PTO time on a yearly basis, but, you could never take it. Anytime you did on-call. you were out from 5pm to 8am and were physically exhausted the next morning. All of your PTO was used on going home to get the sleep you missed out on from being out for 24 hours straight--8 for your regular shift and the 16 hours you were in your car for on-call.)

3. HOW IS ON CALL HANDLED? This is a biggie as a poor on-call system, or lack of back-up from primary or other core services can sink even the best of hospice nurses and contribute to rapid burnout. HOW IS ON CALL COMPENSATED? Beware of somebody telling you "we just give your time back or give comp time" because:

a. it never happens and

b. almost every state in the country does not recognize "comp time" under its labor codes--so if you decide to leave the company and they owe you 300 hours of "comp time" the labor law says TOUGH LUCK. The monetary aspect of on-call may not seem important at first and may be smaller in some smaller companies but is should seem fair overall and be comparable against other companies in the area for the size of the company. Read the posts here in this forum regarding on-call compensation. Have the interviewer explain the compensation clearly and explain to you what will be expected for that compensation.

3. Does profit status make a difference to you personally (if so, ask). Ask what the hospice is involved with within the community. Are you salaried or hourly? If you are hourly, will they put this in writing?

4. Don't be afraid to ask for, or to seek references about this company. What LTCF's are they in? Where and how do they get their referrals?

I know that this is a long list, but hospice nursing (heck any nursing ) is tough. Hospice nursing is especially trying as you are frequently "flying solo" in the sense that you do not have a whole building of experts at your fingertips during times of crisis. The key is in finding a company that is supportive, compassionate and whose ethics and moral principles align with your own. Good Luck!

Edited by rnboysmom
sp

Bumashes, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Hospitalist.

Thank you so much for your input. I've PM'd you another paragraph...

If the hospice you are asking about is "Southerncare" then you may want to do a google search using the terms "Southerncare", "24.7 million" and "whistleblower".

Bumashes, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Hospitalist.

Eh? Hmmm...that's not sounding so hot. I'm hoping that since this office is a "country" office and is very small that it will be run differently than some of the PM's I've been sent about larger locations. Could be just wishful thinking, though...

Bumashes, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Hospitalist.

Just googled like you said. Eek! Well, not much I can do at this point since I've already quit my other job, and I'm ankle deep in this one. But I will go into it with my eyes WIDE open! Thanks for your tip off.

Ginapixi, BSN, RN

Specializes in L&D, Hospice. Has 30 years experience.

rnboysmom: you stated the obvious excellently! much better and nicer than I would have - since i used to work for the company once upon a time...

Bumashes, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Hospitalist.

UPDATE

For those who're bored and want to know:

After being hired, I worked there for 7 weeks. Now, I don't work there any more. I quit, and I quit quickly. If I ever have to give a reference for them, it will NOT be good!!!

:angryfire :down: :angryfire :down: :angryfire :down: :angryfire :down: :angryfire :down:

Ginapixi, BSN, RN

Specializes in L&D, Hospice. Has 30 years experience.

sorry! for you - or good for you, you deserve better!

rnboysmom

Specializes in HOSPICE,MED-SURG, ONCOLOGY,ORTHOPAEDICS. Has 10 years experience.

ABSOLUTELY!!! You deserve better!!!!!!

I have worked for SouthernCare for six months as a RN Case Manager and I have had a completely different experience than the ones listed above. I work with an amazing team who are passionate about our work and service to our patients. My management is supportive and step in often to fill in and give support to other staff and patients when needed. SouthernCare as a whole should not be labeled this way because of a few previously mismanaged offices. I can assure you that the Evansville, IN office is managed extremely well and provides excellent care to our patients.:nurse:

tewdles, RN

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

Just keep in the back of your mind that Southern Care is a for-profit hospice. That means that if the company is doing well financially you may also do well financially.

Conversely, if (when) revenues dip or are stretched you may not do so well because the goal of the company, at the end of the day, is to make money. Local managers may have mad employee and office management skills...but if corporate wants a "leaner" machine with higher ratios and fewer visits to improve cash flow and profits thats what you will get.

It is good to hear positive feedback from our colleagues working in the for-profit arena! Good luck and watch your back.

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