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Hospice Nurse

Hospice is a place where patients can go to live out their final days in peace and comfort. It provides care for the terminally ill, who might otherwise require aggressive treatment that would only prolong life but not make them happy or comfortable during this time period leading up until death arrives on-site as well-armed with knowledge from experts about how best to provide relief through pain management techniques such has hydromorphone® therapy (a form of medication used typically by people living with cancer).

Simply put, hospice is focused on providing compassionate care to manage pain and provide relief in the final days of the individual and loved ones. This is a profession that requires emotional resilience and the realization that death is a part of life. The purpose is to provide comfort rather than cure.
According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), 1.55 million people on Medicare received hospice benefits in 2018. Their average hospice stay was 89.6 days. According to the CDC, there are more than 4,000 hospice facilities in the country.
There are approximately 1.5 million registered nurses working in hospices, and of that 37% stay in a hospice for only one or two years, over 20% stay for less than a year. The staffing problems in the hospice industry are similar to those in other medical sectors. Demand for hospice workers, CNAs, nurses, and other allied healthcare workers is growing with no sign of slowing down as the baby boom generation ages.

To work as a nurse in hospice, it’s vital to have empathy for your patients who face the limits of their independence, or in the case of hospice, patients who are literally preparing to die. Patience with family members who grieve their loved ones' diagnoses and struggle to make or prepare for end-of-life decisions is also a vital skill.
If you're already part of the Nursa™ community, you've probably noticed that a large number of our PRN shifts offer long-term care placements. If you have compassion and patience in addition to your clinical skills and think hospice and palliative care might be your calling, Nursa™ can help! RNs and CNAs can obtain specific certifications for hospice and palliative care through the Hospice and Palliative Care Certification Center (HPCC).

Browse hundreds of PRN jobs at properties near you. Even better, working a PRN shift in a hospice or palliative care facility will allow you to decide if the work environment is right for you before investing money and energy.

The term "hospice nurse" is a broad term that is used to describe the various healthcare professionals who care for patients at the end of their lives. The term is commonly used to refer to CHPN, certified hospice and palliative nurses, or CHPLN, certified hospice, and palliative licensed nurses. Both of these specialist nurses are responsible for caring for the terminally ill as they near the end of their lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a hospice nurse do?
While there are different types of hospice nurses, all hospice nurses are required to help patients in a certain way. Most hospice patients need this kind of care as they end their lives and it is imperative that all hospice nurses in whatever role are qualified and ready to help them. Monitoring and documentation of the patient's vital signs. An important part of hospice care is regular monitoring of the patient's health. This may be a daily requirement or several times a day.

The hospice nurse will check vital signs, write down the patient's medical problems or concerns, and understand what all of these symptoms and signs mean to the patient. Often hospice patients take medication and the hospice nurses are responsible for taking it. Whether it's injections, pills, or intravenous medications, hospice nurses have a responsibility to know when patients need medication, how much they need, and to make sure it's administered correctly.

A big part of hospice care is helping the patient feel comfortable as their life comes to an end. These patients often do not receive treatment to try to help them get better, but rather receive pain medication to keep them comfortable. Registered hospice nurses are responsible for talking to patients to find out if they are in pain, to help administer medications, and to document what symptoms and medications the patient has.

End-of-life care often means that the patient can deal with crises in which they are close to death. The RN Hospice is responsible for helping families and health care workers through these crises. Often hospice patients are in DNR or not resuscitated, which means that if they stop breathing or develop heart problems, registered hospice nurses do not need to extend their lives. It is very important for the hospice nurse to know when to intervene and when not to intervene in order to help the family, healthcare professionals and even the patient himself understand and always focus on the patient and family in crisis situations.

Hospice is difficult for patients and families because they are dying. Mental, emotional and social support is required during this time. Hospice nurses often reach out to patients and their families during extremely difficult times. It is important for hospice nurses to be able to professionally and provide psychological and social support to their patients and families. In addition to social and emotional support, many patients and their families seek spiritual support as death approaches.

Hospice nurses can provide help and kindness to patients and their families as they deal with thoughts of death and loss. Spirituality often helps hospice patients feel calm and relaxed before dying, so hospice nurses can enhance a patient's calm and comfort by providing spiritual support. An important role of any hospice nurse is to inform patients and families of what is to come. Family members often value transparency and want to control themselves as much as possible. Hospice nurses can educate family members about the patient's condition, medications, show them how to reduce pain, and provide support that is critical to helping them cope with difficult situations.

Is a hospice nurse an RN?
Hospice nurses are registered nurses who have received an ADN or BSN and are trained to work with the terminally ill. They have many roles: they provide comprehensive care to patients in the last weeks of life, as well as support those who care for them and loved ones. In addition to providing critical practical care to patients, they also accompany them and their families through the transition towards the end of life.

How much does a hospice nurse make?
The work of hospice nurses is invaluable and is highly rewarded with generous salaries throughout the country. Although the salary scale for hospice nurses varies depending on the country they work in, their years of experience and level of education, and the certifications they receive.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average 2020 registered nurse salary is $75,330 per year, or $36.22 per hour, but conditions may vary in your area. However, the BLS does not list specific salaries for hospice nurses; ZipRecruiter.com polls show the national median salary is $81,417, with only $21,000 difference between the 25th and 75th percentiles. The low national average is $39,000 and the high national average is $138,000.

How hard is hospice nursing?
Working as a nurse in hospice is tiring, especially in a hospital environment. You will be charged with the care of people of all ages. Young people are especially hard on hearts and minds, and sometimes the struggle of the family can get to you.

Doing things that bring you joy outside of work is vital.

Spending time with family and friends, having coffee at the dinner table, or just having a movie night are all simple things that are priceless.

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