A hospice nurse is a nurse who is employed to take care of the terminally ill patients. This is done in hospitals, private homes and nursing centers set aside for this work. The nurses work hand in hand with other medical staff to make sure that the patient lives comfortably both emotionally and physically during his or her last days.
For one to become an excellent hospice nurse, one should possess formal education background which equips him or her well with the day-to-day task of caring for the patients. The nurse is required to have a degree in nursing besides having to cover topics such as: nursing skills, pharmacology, anatomy physiology, and health assessment. The nurse is required to have enough experience both on pain management skills and reading the vital signs of the patient in order to know when special attention is needed.
Another very fundamental requirement of a hospice nurse is having good communication skills. The nurse is required to communicate to both the family and doctors and give the necessary information on the patient’s progress. The hospice nurse should also be a good listener, the terminally ill patients need s someone who is ready to listen and assure them that all will be well. They need words of encouragement to put away their frustrations, anger and loneliness and confusion.
A hospice nurse should also have sympathy and understanding on the patient’s condition. The nurse spends a considerable time with the patient and so it’s important to put herself in the patient’s condition. A terminally ill patient needs love and patience for them to live longer and ease their pain. A hospice nurse should be spiritual in order to be able to handle all the emotional stress associated with caring for the sick. He should be able to give spiritual guidance to the patients and give them hope as they struggle with their unending pain. The nurse should pray for his patients as this will help to calm them down when they face the fears of death.
Being a hospice nurse call for good analytical skills, the nurse should always be ready to act in case of an eventuality; decisions should be made quickly to avert any untimely deaths. Good observation skills should be incorporated to inform doctors and fellow nurses in case of serious changes in the health of the patient. The patient’s needs special attention as this is not about healing their diseases, but alleviating the pains and discomfort associated with long term illnesses.
Lastly being a hospice nurse one should have enough emotional strength to deal with all the mental and emotional stress linked with caring for the terminally ill patients. Caring for this group calls for a strong character to handle all circumstances. The nurse should be strong to avoid depression setting in; this can be detrimental to both the patient and grieving family members who look upon the nurse to give the much desired hope and consolation.