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This is my calling....

Hospice   (1,861 Views 5 Comments)
by mylittlelulu mylittlelulu (New Member) New Member

726 Visitors; 11 Posts

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Hello, Hospice Nurses! I am hoping that y'all can help me out. I am currently finishing my pre-reqs for the LPN program here in GA. I have three this quarter then I can apply to the program and with some luck with begin in Winter 2011 or in Spring 2011.

I have been torn between following the LPN or just sticking it out and continue working as a CNA while I become an RN. The program is definetly much more difficult to get into. I fear being waitlisted.

I really want to work in hospice. It has taken me some time to make the decision to become a nurse. My original thought was to be a Social Worker, but six years of school at 34 is a long time. I like being a CNA. I love my residents. I had interviewed for an office position several years ago with a local hospice but I didn't get the job because at the time I did not have enough medical terminology. I feel that hospice is my calling. Caring for and nuturing both family and patient as they face this time feel like it what I am meant to do. As an LPN I won't be able to pronounce and probably cannot give some meds. (maybe someone could give me an idea of what a hospice nurse does?) Could I still find work in hospice? Any advice would be appreciated by all!

Thank you.

:redbeathe

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Hospice Nurse LPN has 15 years experience and works as a BSN student/hospice nurse.

16,479 Visitors; 1,472 Posts

How about beginning as an LPN then entering a bridge program to become an RN? That way, you'll be able to work as an LPN while in school to become an RN.

As far as my job, I'm able to do everything the RN does except an initial admit and recertifications. I know all states are different, but I'm able to pronounce as an LPN. I've been doing hospice for the past 11 years and have been with my current company for 4 (my last employer closed). I'm currently in an LPN/BSN bridge program and only work Wednesday and Saturday plus call. We're a small company with an average census of 20 to 25 so call is basically being available--rarely any call outs.

My pts are all in a LTC facility, except one who lives out in the country close to me. On Wednesday, everyone gets a head-to-toe assessment, make sure their needs are being met, meds are checked and ordered if necessary, family is called if they aren't in the facility, give report to the staff nurse, check for any new orders that we aren't aware of, write my notes and file them in the hospice binder. Saturday I don't have to check meds or call families (unless something new cropped up since my last visit) so my visits are shorter.

I love hospice and can't even imagine doing anything different. Good luck on your path!

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726 Visitors; 11 Posts

Thank you so much for the advice. I think I am just going to go ahead with the LPN program and then go on to RN after getting some experience. It feels like the right path to follow.

Do you get to spend a lot of one-on-one time, even in the short visits, with your patients. That is really important to me. I think that with the increased demands of patient loads and insurance requirements this aspect of nursing is lost. I do not see myself working in a hospital with a constantly rotating patient load.

Thank you!

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1,210 Visitors; 23 Posts

Hi there mylittlelulu! the LPN's role in hospice varies greatly according to the state and company in which one works. Within my company, LPNs do strictly crisis care. That is continuous care using Medicare terms. I have ONE patient at a time that I do virtually everything for, and I love it. My whole job IS patient care plus a lot of paperwork. I work 12 hour shifts with that patient for a matter of hours (if the patient passes soon after CC is started) to days. I cannot pronounce. I give all sorts of meds, and my location is equally split between homes and facilities. Like I said, very different from HospiceNurseLPN's job description.

My only advice is to research what your scope of practice is in your state, and what hospice LPNs do in various companies in your state. Sounds like you'd like the LPN role or the RN role, so just follow your gut! And good luck to you!

~Sara~

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patsysparksrnchpn has 19 years experience and works as a On Call Hospice RN.

581 Visitors; 11 Posts

Since I am in GA, I can tell you that our LPNs see patients, call the MDs, implement orders, do continuous (crisis) care, most things the RN does except case manage and admissions. The CC nurse at our facility is a godsend and loves doing CC, but also will do routine visits and backup on call. Good luck and welcome to hospice.

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