View Full Version : Hospice changes your life.


Kaliki
06-24-2007, 12:10 AM
Hi, hospice nurses! I would like to know how hospice nursing has changed your life, (or not!) I've been a hospice nurse for 13 years now, and I notice the following changes: a huge respect for life (I don't even kill a bug); a fear of the way I will die (dementia: the worst); a lack of judgmental thoughts like: you smoked for 30 years, get a clue; huge compassion for all my sisters and brothers who are dying; no more need to figure out why things happen the way they do: a welcome professional distance from all the sorrow; A talent at setting boundaries. What about you? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Marachne
06-24-2007, 03:53 PM
Hi there,

Well, hospice, or at least EOL care is what got me into nursing at my mature age. I worked as a volunteer at a facility for end-stage HIV/AIDS (pre-cocktail), and saw how good EOL care could be, and then was with my father for an awful hospital death/post-death (I had to be very assertive to get a nurse to disconnect at least some of the tubing and give me a washcloth to clean my dad up with before my mom and sibs arrived).

My focus is in family caregivers, and one of the things that I've been amazed/fascinated by is family dynamics. I especially find interesting how many ex's come back to care for their dying ex-partner.

KimRN
06-25-2007, 05:47 AM
Hi there,

Well, hospice, or at least EOL care is what got me into nursing at my mature age. I worked as a volunteer at a facility for end-stage HIV/AIDS (pre-cocktail), and saw how good EOL care could be, and then was with my father for an awful hospital death/post-death (I had to be very assertive to get a nurse to disconnect at least some of the tubing and give me a washcloth to clean my dad up with before my mom and sibs arrived).

My focus is in family caregivers, and one of the things that I've been amazed/fascinated by is family dynamics. I especially find interesting how many ex's come back to care for their dying ex-partner.

Having been though some recent family trauma, including the death of my brother-in-law, it is very interesting to see family dynamics surrounding the end of life. My mother-in-law died at home back in 1989 with all nine of her kids around her, in her bed, peacefully. She had end stage lung cancer. I have been a hospice supporter ever since.

KimRN
06-25-2007, 05:49 AM
Hi, hospice nurses! I would like to know how hospice nursing has changed your life, (or not!) I've been a hospice nurse for 13 years now, and I notice the following changes: a huge respect for life (I don't even kill a bug); a fear of the way I will die (dementia: the worst); a lack of judgmental thoughts like: you smoked for 30 years, get a clue; huge compassion for all my sisters and brothers who are dying; no more need to figure out why things happen the way they do: a welcome professional distance from all the sorrow; A talent at setting boundaries. What about you? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Hi Kaliki - welcome!

See my note above - hospice is THE way to deal with end of life care. A good hospice nurse is worth a million dollars.

Nps Save Lives
06-27-2007, 12:49 AM
Hi there! I just wanted to pop in and say just how much I respect Hospice nurses. I have had a lot of experience with death on Med/Surg and have been told that I should be involved with Hospice myself. Hospice is such an important aspect of the end of life process. It's unfortunate that many doctors don't involve Hospice until it is way too late! Keep up the great work everyone!:)

Mother Jones, RN
06-28-2007, 02:13 PM
As far as I'm concerned, hospice nurses are the angels of our profession. No kidding. You really have to be special to do that kind of work. :)

KimRN
07-04-2007, 05:31 PM
Hi there! I just wanted to pop in and say just how much I respect Hospice nurses. I have had a lot of experience with death on Med/Surg and have been told that I should be involved with Hospice myself. Hospice is such an important aspect of the end of life process. It's unfortunate that many doctors don't involve Hospice until it is way too late! Keep up the great work everyone!:)

Heck, I'd put myself on a waiting list for hospice now if I could - not that I'm planning on going anywhere, but if I have warning that it's my time, I'm goin' out at home, with family, my cats, my MacBookPro and my iPod!

Seriously, I'm surprised more people do not take advantage of hospice care. Also, I find that even with patients in hospice care at home, the family panics at the last minute and calls 911. When my mother-in-law passed, the hospice nurse was at the bedside.

Julie
07-04-2007, 06:14 PM
Given the choice (and so long as I was old and ready to die) I'd choose home or a hospice. Unless of course I was sailing round the world on a cruise ship (which I mentioned yesterday as an option on my blog). Seriously though in my time as a district (home care) nurse I was many times able to allow people to die at home with their family around them in their own bed.

Julie
07-04-2007, 06:15 PM
By the way, I'll have to change that picture, looks like I am someone who is in the wrong place!

KimRN
07-13-2007, 08:45 AM
That's what makes district nursing sound like such a great position. You can be many things to many people. How big is a "district"? What was your patient load and is there more than one nurse to a district? Do you need additional education to work "district" as opposed to hospital nursing?

Do I ask enough questions? : D

Kaliki
07-14-2007, 11:41 AM
I am not sure you were asking me, but here goes. Our company serves a radius of 50 miles around our city. A case manager (RN in charge) has a patient load of 12-20 (the higher loads are for nursing home patients, because you don't have to drive so far to see several patients.) The size of districts varies, so that nurses who serve rural areas have a larger district because people are more spread out. We try to assign nurses to an area near where they live. One of our chaplains told me he puts 40,000 miles per year on his car. We are paid part of the mileage. I like the driving because I can think and listen to music and am out of the office.

bcp
08-21-2007, 01:21 AM
I spent a few years being involved in hospice - as the director of a residential hospice for folks with AIDS. That was in the early 90's before the antiretrovirals came out. It was the most amazing, soul touching job I've ever had. Totally changed my views which had previously been from a critical care and primary care POV.

Since then, I've been involved from the other side when my step father died a few years ago. I'm glad for the experince as well...because we are close to utilizing their services again, this time for Mom. She is insisting, after seeing how it went with her husband, that we use Hospice.

I'm so glad all you Hospice Nurses are there...