What is the role of a hospice nurse?The Oasis hospice nurse is an important member of the team. Your family practitioner and/or specialist will be part of the team, as well as a your physician, nurse, social worker, spiritual support advisor, home health aide, volunteer, and other specialists as needed. The team works together to meet your family’s physical, mental, and spiritual needs. In the state of Illinois, all hospice nurses must be approved for nursing. Oasis’ nurses include a number of trained hospice and palliative care nurses (CHPN). A hospice nurse provides treatment to patients who have been given six months or less to live and have selected hospice care as their last option. A hospice nurse focuses on comfort and quality of life as part of the hospice concept of nursing treatment. Individualized treatment is given based on each person’s specific needs.
What are the responsibilities of hospice nurses?
Your prognosis is discussed and explained by a hospice nurse. The nursing faculty examines patients and go through their medical and science records. They keep track of vital signs and measure breathing. They inquire about the pain and keep an eye on any pressure ulcers (wounds). The hospice nurse will also inspect your living area for any potential dangers.
They get a doctor’s order for oxygen (if needed), a hospital bed, prescriptions, and other supplies as needed. They educate family members and caregivers about drug indications and side effects. They will teach you how to administer drugs and will be available to answer any questions you might have. They develop a care plan that all skilled caregivers must obey. Certified home health aides (CHHAs) and licensed practical nurses are under their supervision (LPNs).
Your family will learn about the disease process, hospice theory, diet, medicine, and skin care from a hospice nurse. They go over the DNR (do not resuscitate) text and address it. They still stress that if you have any concerns, you can call Oasis Hospice at (773) 941-4838, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
End of life nursing hospice care & management
The hospice nurse works closely with your other medical professionals and specialists.
The hospice nurse will explain what to expect as death approaches and will be the one to announce your loved one’s death.
The hospice nurse will come to your home, assisted living or nursing home, rehabilitation facility or hospital.
Hospice nurses fight for integrity and comfort. They instruct and guide. They address death and dying in an accessible and caring manner. They pay attention. They provide reassurance.
Hospice nurses are pain management specialists. They know just what to do if your loved one is in pain or is in a bad mood.
They are adaptable and can work with other members of an interdisciplinary team to handle family dynamics.
The presence of a hospice nurse is soothing. You struggle with anxiety, terror, and complicated feelings when a loved one is severely ill. A hospice nurse is available to assist you.
Understanding the Role of a Hospice Nurse
The professional and caring influence of hospice nurses can be seen in every hospice organization, from the early stages of the hospice admissions process to the final steps of a patient’s end-of-life journey.
Understanding the involvement of nurses in the hospice care team and in many of the day-to-day patient care tasks helps shape a more full view of how hospice provides care to patients, families, and family members.
Different Types of Hospice Nurses
A hospice nurse’s job entails a wide range of responsibilities. Nurses may extend their experience and skills to a variety of care specialties within a hospice organization because they have such a broad skill set.
Patients meet admission nurses as one of the first members of a hospice group with whom they interact. Admission nurses are responsible for guiding patients and families through the hospice assessment and admissions procedures, as well as for educating patients, families, and others.
An admissions nurse will work closely with the patient’s physician to understand the patient’s needs and decide whether or not the patient is eligible for hospice treatment while they are terminally ill.
If the patient is qualified for hospice care, the admissions nurse gives them a supportive lesson about the holistic hospice care philosophy as well as the type of care they may expect for their particular terminal illness.
In formulating a treatment plan for the patient, admissions nurses collaborate closely with the patient’s care team. The admission nurse’s perspective is invaluable because she is one of the first care practitioners from the hospice agency to meet with the patient.
Following a patient’s admission, admissions nurses can be involved in the ordering of any specialty care equipment, as well as any pain management and other symptom-controlling drugs.
In a hospice organization, a case manager is one of the most direct and hands-on nursing positions.
Throughout a patient’s time in hospice, hospice case managers oversee the course and coordination of their treatment, as well as the care given to their caregivers and families.
Case managers determine how care services are distributed and devise the plan of care for each patient in collaboration with the rest of the hospice care team.
They also assess the level and type of counseling, education, and care that the patient’s caregiver and family members may need before, during, and after the patient’s death.
The treatment offered by a patient’s hospice case manager is supplemented by visit nurses.
Part of their job entails following up on routine care duties outlined in the patient’s care plan, such as delivering periodic, prescribing prescriptions, and maintaining adequate documentation of all services rendered.
When patients or caregivers have an at-home emergency or need medical advice, triage nurses are on call and ready to help.
Triage nurses begin evaluating the condition, learning about the patient’s individual medical needs, and advising care as soon as an emergency call comes in from a caregiver or family member.
Triage nurses also notify the hospice case manager or visiting nurse, as well as the patient’s physician, about the condition and decide if an urgent visit is necessary.
Triage nurses must be strategic thinkers who can take charge of a situation, consider and prioritize treatment needs, and implement a plan quickly due to their remote work environment and the high-stress nature of the emergency care calls they receive.
In order to provide the best treatment for their patients, hospitals also collaborate with local hospice agencies as an end-of-life care partner.
When a doctor diagnoses a patient with a life-limiting disease, they may refer them to a collaborating hospice agency via these collaborations.
Medical liaisons are critical to the smooth operation of both the hospital and patient relationships. These specially trained nurses cultivate partnerships with hospitals, private care agencies, and other healthcare practitioners to ensure that they are aware of the availability of a local end-of-life care organization for any patients they may serve.
In addition, hospital liaisons work closely with patients and their families to assist them in enrolling in hospice care and ensuring that the end-of-life patient’s wishes are well-established and conveyed to all parties involved.
How Hospice Nurses Care
A hospice nurse’s job goes far beyond just offering physical treatment for a patient. Their calm and attentive presence, expert care administration, and unwavering spirit of compassion form a connection between patient and nurse that brings comfort and peace to those who are nearing the end of their lives.
The provision of hands-on, direct treatment for patients accounts for a substantial portion of a hospice nurse’s duties. Case managers and visit nurses, in particular, should be aware of this.
Nurses are on the front lines in ensuring their patients are as pain-free and symptom-free as possible, whether it’s through prescribing drugs, delivering continuous wound treatment, or meticulously recording patient vital signs.
Emotional and Spiritual Support
Nurses and their patients develop a strong and special emotional connection as they get to know one another, and nurses have such intimate knowledge of a patient’s end-of-life journey.
As patients develop a relationship with their nurses, it is normal for them to regard them as a trusted confidante. Patients confess information to their nurse that they would not otherwise tell their closest family members, such as treasured memories or deep-seated fears.
In this position, hospice nurses are able to share in these tender moments of bonding while also gaining useful knowledge that they can use to better plan their patient’s treatment.
For example, if a patient has concerns about death and what awaits them in the afterlife, the hospice nurse may collaborate closely with the patient’s assigned to ensure that they take the time to resolve those concerns and find peace.
The end-of-life journey can be particularly lonely for some people. This is especially true if a patient does not have any close friends or family members by their side during their final days.
Hospice nurses offer a welcome source of social interaction and belonging to patients, thanks to their caring spirit and loving disposition.
The support that a good social link offers cannot be overstated, despite its apparent simplicity to help. Even small gestures, such as giving medication or getting a fast cup of coffee during a regular visit, can significantly reduce a patient’s anxiety and encourage overall comfort and really help.
Improving Quality of Patient Care
Hospice nurses constantly record any changes in a patient’s status and log detailed guidelines aimed at increasing a patient’s overall level of comfort as they support in the business execution of a patient’s plan of care.
The hospice nurse uses this information to present these guidelines, as well as the most up-to-date information about the patient’s condition, at the interdisciplinary hospice team business meetings.
Every member of a patient’s care team is present at these interdisciplinary meetings, which are held at least once every 15 days. Every member of a patient’s care team provides any new details about the patient’s progress, addresses ways to enhance the patient’s quality of life and comfort, and ensures that the care plan is in full accordance with the patient’s end-of-life care wishes during these meetings.