The care our hospice nurses provide is centered around reducing pain, helping the patient feel more at ease, and guiding the patient and their loved ones through the many physical and physiological changes. Your hospice nurse can provide skilled medical assistance for conditions that are not directly related to the qualifying hospice diagnosis, and they serve as an important liaison to the hospice medical director.
The hospice medical directors we partner with are specialized physicians who oversee a comprehensive care plan for patients who have elected hospice as a service. They help us ensure that the patient, their loved ones, and the care team are compassionately supported and that care goals are being reached and addressed. For many patients, the hospice medical director acts as their attending physician while they are receiving hospice care.
Hospice chaplains are invaluable for providing spiritual and emotional support to hospice patients and their families. The hospice chaplain, along with hospice nurses, is committed to understanding and honoring the beliefs of the patient to help them and their loved ones find purpose, meaning, and comfort during this time. Our hospice chaplains offer grief and bereavement services for loved ones for up to 13 months after a patient’s passing.
Social workers play a critical role in helping patients and families cope. They work closely with other members of the hospice team to improve the patient’s emotional and physical comfort, assess needs and access other available resources, and make sure nobody feels alone or neglected during this process. Like the chaplain, social workers are an important part of the grief and bereavement team.
Our hospice aides or CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants) provide valuable assistance with the parts of a patient’s care that require the supervision of a nurse. Their responsibilities may include:
- Helping a patient bathe, dress, and groom
- Monitoring/alerting the nurse of the patient's condition
- Being a compassionate companion
All hospice volunteers that serve with us do the work because they have a passion for caring through hospice and a love for the people they serve. Among their most valuable services are companionship and respite when a patient’s family is not available or needs a little personal time.
Anyone can initiate a referral for hospice services, including the prospective patient or their family. Once a hospice agency is contacted, the agency will arrange for a team member to provide a free consultation.
If a person elects to initiate hospice, a registered nurse will perform an assessment and the patient or their legal representative will be asked to review and sign paperwork indicating that they understand the services, their rights, and what impact hospice could have on other care. Additionally, the hospice medical director and the patient’s attending physician must certify that the patient has a qualifying medical diagnosis and prognosis for hospice.