The competent and caring influence of hospice nurses may be seen across any hospice group, from the initial phases of the hospice enrollment through the final phases of a patient’s end-of-life voyage. Understanding the importance of nurses in the hospice care team and many day-to-day patient care tasks helps develop a complete view of how hospice delivers holistic care for patients and families.
Hospice nurses continue to work closely with doctors, administer medications, and give emotional support in addition to doing many standard nursing functions such as watching, assessing, and documenting symptoms. Hospice nurses have an emotionally taxing job because they know from the get-go that their patient is terminally ill.
The drugs administered by hospice nurses and the symptoms they document are not designed to help a patient’s recovery but to ensure their final days are as pleasant as possible. The majority of the nurse’s responsibilities revolve around reducing discomfort.
What is a hospice nurse?
A hospice nurse is a nursing specialist who has been educated to work closely with people with terminal illnesses. Although nurses working in hospice environments are registered nurses, they also serve as caseworkers and advocates for patients reaching the final stages of life and their families. Hospice nurses require specific training and additional experience in circumstances that can be emotionally taxing on unprepared individuals.
Types of hospice nurses
A hospice nurse can apply their skill-set to a variety of positions in a hospice organization. As such, there are different types of hospice nurses.
A case manager is amongst the most active and hands-on nurse positions in a hospice institution. Throughout a patient’s stay in hospice, hospice case managers supervise the strategic guidance of their care, as well as the care offered to their caregivers and kin. In collaboration with the whole of the hospice nursing staff, case managers determine how care resources are utilized and develop the treatment plan for each patient.
Admission nurses are among the first staff of a hospice institution that patients interact with. Admission nurses lead patients and families along with the hospice evaluation and admissions procedures and play a critical role in the learning process for patients, family members, and others. As terminally ill patients contemplate hospice care, an admissions nurse will collaborate with the patient’s doctors to evaluate the patient’s requirements and ascertain whether or not the individual is qualified for hospice care.
When patients or guardians have a home emergency or want care advice, triage nurses are on standby and available to assist. Triage nurses begin analyzing the situation, acquiring a grasp of the patient’s unique care needs, and guiding care when an emergency alert is received from a guardian or family member. Triage nurses may notify the hospice case manager or attending nurse and the patient’s doctor of the situation and evaluate whether an emergency visit is necessary.
Visit nurses support the treatment offered by a client’s hospice case manager. Their work includes, in addition, keeping up on regular care tasks outlined in the patient’s treatment plan, such as delivering regular wound care, administering drugs, and maintaining required paperwork of all given care.
To give the most incredible possible treatment to their patients, hospitals frequently collaborate with local hospice institutions as an end-of-life care partnership. When a hospital identifies a client with a terminal condition, they can recommend them to a partnered hospice institution through these collaborations.
Hospital liaisons are critical to the proper operation of these interactions (hospital and client levels). These specifically trained nurses cultivate ties with healthcare institutions, private care groups, and other healthcare providers to make sure that they are informed of the availability of a nearby end-of-life healthcare service for just any clients they may care.
What’s a hospice nurse’s purpose?
A hospice nurse is someone who offers holistic care to terminal patients who are nearing their life’s journey at their facility or the home of the patient. Rather than treating sickness or problem, nurses in this specialization actively support their patients in living as pleasantly as feasible while preparing for the unavoidable.
A hospice nurse will address pain, check vitals, and attend to all patients’ requirements while caring for them at a care facility. In addition to offering treatment, nurses may help with household chores when caring for patients at home. Cooking, cleaning, and even doing errands for the client are examples of these responsibilities. Hospice nurses, regardless of the location they serve, assist families in coping and providing the assistance they require during a tough period.
Interview for a hospice nurse
Having a solid awareness of hospice interviewing norms is beneficial to both hospice executives and aspiring hospice nurses. While a resume and cover letter give a thorough summary of a nurse’s experience and qualifications, it is during the interview that the candidate’s distinct personality shows through. Administrators will evaluate if a candidate is interactive, collaborative, friendly, and level-headed throughout the interview phase, which is among the most prominent markers of a great hospice worker.
The administration must consider the specific function that a hospice nurse performs as a member of the hospice team before deciding what interview questions will be asked. During a highly vulnerable point of a patient’s life, hospice nurses interact with patients, general practitioners, hospice workers, and carers. Hospice workers need a combination of interpersonal skills and medical knowledge to do their tasks well.
Here are some of the most common interview questions for a hospice nurse, with some examples of answers.
Being a hospice nurse can be taxing, both for your physical and mental well-being. What made you want to be a hospice nurse?
I’ve always liked to help others; therefore, I’d say I’ve always been interested in caring professions. I’ve had relatives who were terminally ill and nearing the end of their lives. I’ve seen my mother, a hospice nurse, help them and care for them during the last days of their lives. And seeing my mother help them made me realize that I also wanted to offer my help to people in similar situations. In short, I can say I was inspired by my mother to become an excellent hospice nurse like her.
How would you handle a family with disagreements amongst each other?
I’ve discovered that the emotional strain our patients’ families are under sometimes leads them to dispute with the patient’s desires. In these instances, it’s critical to acknowledge the legitimacy of each person’s sentiments and reassure them that you value their input. To handle any difficulties that may emerge, I always discuss any changes properly and listen carefully to their worries to guarantee the patient’s comfort.
Can you talk about a time when you could demonstrate your attention to detail?
One time I had a veterinarian come in for a check-up for my cats. It was supposed to be a regular check-up, nothing serious. The doctor did his thing and told me that my cats were all healthy. I was delighted to hear this. But when the vet turned one of my cats over to see if there was anything worth looking at, I noticed a small bald area in the feet area.
The doctor didn’t catch it, but I pointed it out to him, and he examined the area. It turns out it was an infection. If I didn’t notice it earlier, the infection would have spread over and become lethal. I’m happy to have caught it in time.
What was the reason for leaving your last job?
Maintain a good attitude regardless of the situation. Never bring up a significant management issue, and never criticize supervisors, colleagues, or the company. You’ll be the one who looks silly if you do. Continue to smile and discuss leaving for a good cause, such as an opportunity, a desire to do something unique, or other future-oriented motives.
When do you think it’s okay to administer morphine to a patient?
When getting a prescription to give medicine to a patient, hospice nurses typically speak with the patient’s main doctor to confirm that the patient has never had past difficulties with substance misuse or overdose. When the main doctor has recommended morphine, hospice nurses have naloxone on hand to avoid an overdose.
Can you give an example of a time that demonstrates that you would be able to work under pressure?
My mother was a hospice nurse. As a nurse, she would often go to patients’ homes to take care of them. Since she was a single mother, she had to take me with her whenever she had work because she couldn’t leave me home alone. So growing up, I started to help my mother with her work. Even though it wasn’t a big help, I still helped her in the ways I could.
One of her patients suddenly had a medical emergency, and she asked me to help keep the patient steady as she tried to administer medicine. As a teen, I panicked, but eventually, I got myself in control and did what needed to be done. After that incident, I’ve always learned to keep my cool in the coming years.