A Hospice Nurse is a specialist responsible for providing care, comfort, and support to terminally ill patients and their families. They establish plans for each patient to ensure their requirements are addressed, conduct routine exams, and contact the patient’s family as necessary.
These are some of the responsibilities of a hospice nurse:
- Care planning in conjunction with physicians and other professionals
- Frequent evaluation of the patient’s condition through visits.
- Providing assistance and comfort based on the needs of the individual patient.
The hospice nurse is an essential member of the Samaritan hospice staff. The team consists of your primary care physician and/or a specialist, as well as a Samaritan physician, nurse, social worker, spiritual support counselor, home health aide, and volunteer, if necessary. Together, the team addresses your and your family’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
What do hospice nurses do?
A hospice nurse in Fremont provides care for terminally ill patients with a prognosis of six months or fewer who have chosen hospice care. As part of the hospice care philosophy, hospice nurses prioritize the patient’s comfort and quality of life. They give tailored care based on the specific needs of each client.
A hospice nurse talks and explains your prognosis. They do patient evaluations and medical history reviews. Examine vital signs and breathing. They inquire about your discomfort and watch for pressure ulcers (wounds). Additionally, the hospice nurse inspects your living space for safety issues.
They get a doctor’s order for oxygen (if appropriate), a hospital bed, drugs, and any other necessary supplies. Educate family members and caregivers on pharmaceutical indications and adverse effects. Instruct you on the proper administration of medications and are available to answer any queries. They develop a care plan for all professional caregivers to adhere to. They are in charge of supervising certified home health aides (CHHAs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs).
A hospice nurse educates your family on the progression of the disease, hospice philosophy, nutrition, medicine, and skincare. They review the DNR (do not resuscitate) document and debate it.
What are some of the less desirable aspects of becoming a hospice nurse?
Hospice is a demanding nursing specialty with numerous long and grueling visits. Self-care is not an option for a hospice nurse; it is a fundamental necessity. Hospice care is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which requires hospice nurses to be on-call during a predetermined number of nights per month, weekends, and holidays.
This task and its accompanying reality can likely cause moral harm or compassion fatigue over time.
Typically, this responsibility is alternated among field personnel. It is not pleasant to be awakened in the middle of the night, but it is crucial to keep in mind that you will be making a significant difference for a patient at that time. Others will necessitate a visit at any time of day or night.
Hospice nurses pronounce patients and provide emotional and spiritual support to caregivers and family members until the morgue can collect the body. Patients typically pass away in the middle of the night. In addition to caring for the body, the hospice nurse will dispose of unneeded prescriptions and record the counts.
The hospice nurse will depend on the time of day, tell the team members, the patient’s physician, and any designated family members. By notifying the hospice office, equipment pickup arrangements can be made.
Depending on the moment of death, the case manager may or may not be summoned to deliver the proclamation. In such situations, the case manager may reserve the authority to contact particular patients. Families must understand that they may not have their “own” case manager make the final visit, as hospice nurses work as a team.
What are the advantages of working as a hospice nurse?
Meeting so many diverse individuals and learning their life stories is one of the most satisfying aspects of the position. In their various duties, nurses may not always have the opportunity to learn about the places individuals have been, the things they have done, and the love they have to give.
What is the role of a hospice nurse?
While there are several sorts of hospice nurses, all are responsible for assisting patients in particular ways. As the majority of hospice patients are nearing the end of their lives, it is essential for all hospice nurses to be qualified and prepared to assist them. Among their responsibilities are the following:
Monitoring and recording vital signs of the patient
The constant monitoring of a patient’s health is a crucial component of hospice care. This may be a daily or recurring necessity. A hospice RN will monitor the patient’s vital signs, document any medical concerns or challenges, and comprehend what these symptoms and indications signify.
Giving out drugs. Oftentimes, hospice patients require medication, and hospice RNs are responsible for administering it. Hospice RNs are responsible for knowing when patients need their medication, how much they need, and ensuring it is provided properly, regardless of whether it is a shot, pill, or IV medication.
Managing symptoms and pain
A significant aspect of hospice nursing is ensuring the patient’s comfort at the end of life. Rather than receiving treatment to aid in their recovery, these patients frequently receive pain medication to help them feel comfortable. Hospice registered nurses are responsible for speaking with patients to determine if they are in pain, assisting with medication administration, and documenting a patient’s symptoms and medications.
assisting during times of trouble. End-of-life care frequently entails that the patient will experience life-threatening events. A hospice RN is responsible for assisting family members and caregivers in dealing with these emergency situations. Frequently, hospice patients are DNR or do not resuscitate, meaning that hospice registered nurses are not to prolong their lives if they cease breathing or develop heart difficulties. It is crucial for a hospice RN to know when to intervene and when not to intervene, to help family and caregivers, as well as the patient, comprehend, and to always prioritize the patient and their family in crisis situations.
Because the patient is dying, hospice care is complicated for the patient and their family. During this time, mental, emotional, and social support are crucial. Hospice nurses frequently develop close relationships with their patients and their families since they are with them during a period of extreme difficulty. It is essential for hospice nurses to maintain their professionalism while providing emotional and social care to their patients and their families.
As death approaches, many patients and their families want spiritual help in addition to social and emotional support. Hospice nurses can provide assistance and compassion to patients and their families as they contemplate death and loss. Spirituality can often assist hospice patients to feel peaceful and at rest about dying; therefore, hospice nurses can enhance a patient’s sense of peace and comfort by providing spiritual support.
Informing the family carers. The hospice nurse’s primary responsibility is to keep the patient and their family informed about what will occur. Family members typically value openness and desire as much control as possible. Hospice nurses can educate family members on the patient’s condition and medications, demonstrate how to administer pain relief and provide the vital support needed to help them cope with a tough situation.
Read Also: What Do You Look For In A Hospice PBM?