May 25 2017
Written By
Barbara Karnes
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What It Takes To Be A Hospice Nurse

What It Takes To Be A Hospice Nurse


Barbara Karnes - May 30 2017

Patricia, My DVD, New Rules For End of Life Care, is being used in hospitals through out the country to education the hospital staff on end of life. Taking care of someone as they approach the end of their life is different than caring for someone who is going to get better. You are right, a lot of hospital staff are unprepared to offer the appropriate end of life care. In-servicing will give the staff additional tools.

Barbara Karnes - May 30 2017

Melissa, you are so right. 90% of our work in Hospice is education and in many agencies it isn’t happening. For those families that have interactions with hospices that are not providing comprehensive education the experience is often confusing and upsetting. This saddens me greatly as the hospice philosophy is one of helping a family create a sacred memory from a sad often frightening experience. When that doesn’t happen we have done a disservice to the family.

Barbara Karnes - May 30 2017

Mary Ann, the original question in this Blog related specifically to hospice nurses. I agree with you that all who are part of the hospice team face the same challenges as they relate to their particular area of expertise. The booklet, You Need care Too, is written for all who work with end of life not just nurses.

Jacquelyn - May 30 2017

Hello Ramona and Khristina!
You can order this Care For the Caregiver DVD from this link

It is located on our All Products.

You can email me directly if you have any questions : )

Ramona Martin - May 29 2017

How do I order this DVD? I do not see it in your choice list in your “shop” section.

Mary Ann Braham - May 28 2017

Please don’t leave out other members of the hospice team. I worked as a chaplain in hospice alongside nurses and faced many of the challenges the nurses faced as well as many others. It is a team approach and all of the team members are subject to Compassion Fatigue and Burn Out. I routinely offered a candle lighting service and opportunity to talk about feelings and emotions to help staff. Indeed it does take a special person to do hospice work but it is very rewarding.

Stephanie Scott, RN, CHPN - May 27 2017

Thank you for bringing the discussion to the forefront.

Melissa Anderson - May 26 2017

I agree with your review of what a hospice nurse is. I must add though that what I see lacking the most is education. The company is so interested in getting g these patients on board they deny the patient and family the truths of the disease process and what it MAY bring. Then, discussing the care the patient will require as the disease progresses therefore leaving them overwhelmed and frightened when the patient has sudden declines . The education process needs to begin immediately from the first encounter with a liaison. Unfortunately, this does not happen . The families are told all the great things hospice provides and leaves out the realities of the disease progression and the needs the patient will require to be met. Sadly, we have many families that aren’t pleased because of this but we can’t mgmt to see this. It’s a dollar sign that’s important not what’s really best for patient and family.

Kristina Hopkins - May 26 2017

How can i watch this?

Nancy Sillman - May 26 2017

I have been an Intensive Care Nurse for 14 yrs and enjoyed taking care of my patients with all the machines and skill that the job required and tried to do the best job I could. I stayed for 14 yrs which is a pretty long time for that type of Nursing. Then I became a Hospice Nurse and have to say, it’s the most rewarding Nursing I have ever done. Not in the sense of being rewarded with compliments, but in the sense that I was helping a patient and their family through a most difficult time. Hospice Nursing takes care of the whole family and provides services that are much needed. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity of having been a Hospice Nurse!!!

Patricia Fox - May 26 2017

What about a hospital setting where there are no Hospice beds or Palliative care unit. So, EOL patients are all over the hospital and any nurse might be caring for them. Any suggestions?

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