Nursing is not an easy job. When you are a hospice nurse, providing care and comfort to terminally ill patients can be especially trying. If you were to ask a hospice nurse, chances are they would tell you what they do is tremendously rewarding.
Hospice nurses do everything they can to make their patients as comfortable as possible, so they can make the best of the time they have left. Our nurses are a great resource for the primary caregiver. It’s a hospice nurse who answers troubling questions late at night. It’s also the hospice nurse who teaches the family new skills, and how to care for their loved one at the end of life.
Our nurses are part of a team of healthcare professionals, and they are experts at recognizing the unspoken needs of the patient and family. Our nurses often advise and consult with the hospice physician to make sure the patient is comfortable and free of pain as possible. They often will advise a social worker of a problem that needs to be addressed. Hospice nurses will refer to our bereavement counselors to come in and help with anticipated grief issues. For instance, there may be young children who live in the home or are very close to the patient. They may be troubled and having a tough time dealing with an impending loss.
May 6 through May 12 marks National Nurses Week, and as we celebrate, we are very grateful for their dedication and hard work. Many patients and their families have referred to their hospice nurse as an “angel”…and we could not agree more.