Hospice nurses are vital to provision of nursing care during the patients’ final stages in life. They are there to make sure that the patients are as free from pain as possible. They also do not just care for the patients, but for the families as well. If you are interested on becoming a hospice nurse, here are the qualities and qualifications that you should have:
- Compassion. Patients who are in the final stages of their lives need someone who truly understand what they’re going through. Providing end-of-life care may be painful at times, but hospice nurses do it out of compassion for their patients.
- Honesty. It is important that you be honest with the patients and their families, as you will be dealing with patients whose lives are in the final stages. Comfort them when needed, but make sure not to give them false hopes and reassurance.
- Patience. Working as a hospice nurse may become stressful at times. You should be able to give your patients the quality care they need whilst you work under pressure.
- Critical Thinking Skills. As a hospice nurse, you have to be able to observe the patients keenly, and take note of certain changes that may need urgent medical attention.
- Organizational Skills. You will need to coordinate with priests, chaplain or ministers of the patients. Hospice nurses work under pressure so being organized will help you think more quickly and actively.
- Sympathy. Hospice nurses usually provide emotional and spiritual support not only to the patients, but also to their family.
- Resilience. You will experience an emotional roller coaster when you become a hospice nurse. There are times when you will be so depressed and emotional, but you must be able to bounce back and recover immediately from difficulties.
- Attention to detail. Terminally ill patients require delicate care and need someone who knows how to do the job accurately. You have to be able to do things correctly like monitoring the vital signs or administering the medications.
- Communication Skills. As a hospice nurse, you must be able to communicate well with your colleagues, patients and their families as well.
A hospice nurse can earn up to $65,000 annually. The employment outlook for hospice nurses has been impressive as there is an increasing demand for care of elderly patients.
Two years ago (2012), more than 60 percent of hospice care was provided in patients’ homes. For the last five years, the demand for hospice care providers has grown immensely, and is expected to double within the next six to ten years. Hospice nurses are usually employed by hospitals, and receive full health benefits, vacation and sick leaves.
About the Author: Mary Elizabeth Velarmino Francisco earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Philippines. She is always happy to share her passion for writing and blogging. With coffee running through her veins, she enthusiastically battles each day, one article at a time.