Hospice nurses do many of the same duties that traditional nurses perform
While it is an unpleasant topic to consider, end-of-life care is something that every person will have to consider. Hospice agencies are one of the options to provide that care for the aged and the sick who need the extra care that their families just might not be able to provide for them. Hospice nurses are the people who will see the most of the clients for hospice care and will see to the majority of their day to day needs.
A hospice nurse does many of the same duties that a traditional nurse would do, just instead of performing them in a hospital or doctor’s office, the nurse provides the care for the patient in their own homes. Hospice nurses generally travel to see their patients on a daily basis and depending on the level of care needed, they could stay all day with one patient or be able to see many clients during their shift. Hospice nurses need to be caring, nurturing individuals, maybe even more so than a regular nurse. They are always conscious of the fact that they are caring for patients in the end stages of life and that can sometimes be hard for them to deal with. The stress and emotional fatigue that comes with this particular job can be high but it can also be a rewarding position.
Hospice nurses specialize in providing palliative care, which means they strive to ease the discomfort or pain the patient is feeling rather than try to cure the disease. Many patients who are under hospice care are suffering from a major illness, such as cancer, AIDs, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, heart and lung diseases, diabetes and other fatal conditions. Hospice patients are not always elderly individuals. Hospice nurses care for people of all ages. They also coordinate care with the patients other health care professionals, like therapists, physicians and sometimes their social or case workers from the hospitals. Hospice nurses routinely turn into a friend and confidante for the patient during the time of their care.
Hospice nurses are registered nurses who have received additional training to become a hospice care giver. To become a hospice nurse, the individual needs a four year bachelor’s of science degree in nursing. They must also pass state and national licensing exam to be certified to practice. Additional training is needed to be a hospice nurse, which can be obtained through elective classes while in college or on the job training.