Hospice Work for a CNA/HHA

Hi Barbara,
I just finished a CNA/HHA program and am looking for a career in hospice work. What options do I have? I took hospice training in 2001 through Kaiser Permanent and just retook it through The Twilight Bridge, an organization that works with veterans. I live in SF Bay Area. I want to make this work my last career. Thanks, Jenn

As a CNA/HHA (Certified Nurses Aide/Home Health AIde) your options for Hospice work could be: 1) Work for a hospice that goes into homes to provide care. You would do bathing, bed changing, ADLs, etc. 2) You could work in a Hospice House, an inpatient Hospice facility providing the same kind of care you would give in a patient’s home. 3) Some hospitals have designated hospice rooms, units, and/or areas so you could work in that unit of the hospital.
Another less obvious area to consider is working in a long term care, assisted living, or residential care facility. They are not necessarily specific to hospice but dying and death occurs frequently in those ares and a CNA with end of life care knowledge would be a great asset.
I admire and place great importance on CNAs and the work you do. There is a closeness that is established between you and the patient that is not duplicated with the RN/LPN and Social Workers. The CNA is on the front line in the home or facility. The time spent bathing and tidying gives you a wonderful opportunity to interact, support, and educate the family and, if the patient is responsive, the patient. I think the importance of your role is often overlooked. Kudos for making this your life’s work.

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