Tag: Hospice Nurse

Articles about and for hospice nurses including tips and tricks to provide the best care the terminally ill patient deserves.

Hospice Nursing Visit frequencies: A Guide for New Hospice Nurses

color coded hospice staff visit calendar
As a hospice nurse, determining the appropriate frequency of scheduled nurse visits for your patients is essential to providing effective and compassionate end-of-life care. Patients and their families often rely on your expertise to ensure their comfort and well-being during this sensitive time. In this article, we'll discuss suggested starting scheduled nurse visit frequencies, when to decrease or increase frequencies, and factors to consider based on patient acuity and changes in their condition.
Read MoreHospice Nursing Visit frequencies: A Guide for New Hospice Nurses

Understanding Hospice Eligibility for Terminally Ill Patients with Non-Alzheimer’s Dementia

As experienced caregivers, we know how crucial it is to accurately assess and determine hospice eligibility for our terminally ill patients. Today, let's focus on patients with non-Alzheimer's dementia. While the FAST scale is not applicable in these cases, there are other signs and symptoms we should be observant of to support and prove hospice eligibility. Let's dive in!
Read MoreUnderstanding Hospice Eligibility for Terminally Ill Patients with Non-Alzheimer’s Dementia

Breast Cancer: Navigating the Journey with Compassion

Breast cancer is a tough road, affecting patients and their families deeply. As a hospice nurse case manager specializing in compassionate end-of-life care, I comprehend the significance of offering clear, empathetic guidance to families in this challenging situation. This article delves into the journey through breast cancer, the changes your loved one might undergo, and how to deliver optimal care from diagnosis to life's end.
Read MoreBreast Cancer: Navigating the Journey with Compassion

Understanding the Patient’s Question: When Will I Die?

Wirlpool
One common question that both patients (if they are mentally aware) and their loved ones often ask is about the timing of the patient's passing. While the exact answer lies beyond human knowledge, hospice nurses play a crucial role in assessing the patient's journey towards the end of life. In this article, we will explore how to provide a rough estimate using widely followed guidelines.
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Understanding the Importance of the PAINAD Scale in Pain Assessment for Terminally Ill Patients

Paidad Scale To Assess For Pain Observationally
As experienced hospice nurses, our primary goal is to provide the best possible care and comfort to our terminally ill patients during their final journey. Pain management is a crucial aspect of hospice care, and it becomes even more challenging when dealing with patients who may have difficulty expressing their pain due to cognitive impairments or other factors. In such situations, the PAINAD scale emerges as a valuable tool for pain assessment. Let's explore why and when using the PAINAD scale is essential, particularly when patients consistently over or underreport their pain.
Read MoreUnderstanding the Importance of the PAINAD Scale in Pain Assessment for Terminally Ill Patients

Understanding Liver Disease: A Guide for Families

End Stage Liver Disease
Having a loved one diagnosed with liver disease can be a challenging and emotional journey for both the patient and their family. As an experienced hospice nurse with years of experience in hospice care, I understand the importance of providing compassionate and informative support during this grim time. In this article, we will explore what to expect over the course of liver disease, the changes that may occur in your loved one, and how to provide the best care from onset until the end of life.
Read MoreUnderstanding Liver Disease: A Guide for Families

Understanding End Stage Renal Disease and How to Care for Your Loved One

Signs And Symptoms Of End Stage Renal Disease ESRD
If your loved one has been diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure, it's natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure about what to expect during the course of the disease. As an experienced hospice nurse with years of experience, I am here to guide you through this journey with compassion and empathy. In this article, we will cover what End Stage Renal Failure is, the changes you may observe in your loved one, and how to provide the best care from onset until the end of life.
Read MoreUnderstanding End Stage Renal Disease and How to Care for Your Loved One

A Holistic Approach: Hospice Nursing Assessment vs. Hospital/Nursing Home Assessment

The Intersection Of Palliative Care Prior To End Of Life And End Of Life Palliative Care Especially In The Last Hours
As an experienced hospice nurse, I understand the importance of providing compassionate care that focuses on maximizing patient comfort and removing avoidable distress. The hospice nursing assessment differs from assessments conducted in hospitals or nursing homes, where the focus is often on normal versus abnormal vital signs and lab values. In this article, I will compare the hospice nursing assessment to assessments done in other healthcare settings, providing examples that highlight the unique approach of hospice nursing.
Read MoreA Holistic Approach: Hospice Nursing Assessment vs. Hospital/Nursing Home Assessment

Understanding Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and How to Care for Your Loved One: A Guide for Families

Multiple Sclerosis Common Symptoms
Receiving a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can be overwhelming for both the patient and their family. As an experienced hospice nurse with years of experience, I am here to provide you with information and support on what to expect over the course of the disease. In this guide, we will discuss the changes your loved one may experience and how you can best care for them from the onset of MS until the end of life.
Read MoreUnderstanding Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and How to Care for Your Loved One: A Guide for Families

The Benefits of Deprescribing Medications in Hospice: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Hospice Nurses

Common Medications That May No Longer Be Needed For Terminally Ill Patients
I know just how important it is to provide comfort and support during this challenging journey. One aspect of hospice care that often raises concerns is deprescribing medications. In this article, we'll explore what deprescribing is and why it can be beneficial for patients nearing the end of life.
Read MoreThe Benefits of Deprescribing Medications in Hospice: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Hospice Nurses

Understanding COPD: A Guide for Families

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Copd
As an experienced hospice nurse with years of experience, I understand that coping with a loved one's diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can be overwhelming and challenging. In this article, we'll explore what to expect over the course of the disease, the changes you might notice in your loved one, and how to provide the best care and support from the onset until the end.
Read MoreUnderstanding COPD: A Guide for Families

Managing Terminal Restlessness

Exhausted Patient From Restlessness
Losing a loved one is an incredibly challenging experience, and witnessing changes in their behavior and well-being can be distressing. As a hospice nurse, I've supported many families and caregivers through this grim time. One common symptom that may arise towards the end of life is restlessness. In this article, I will explain the different types of restlessness and offer guidance on how to manage them. Understanding these distinctions can provide valuable insights into your loved one's condition and help you navigate the final stages of their life with compassion and care.
Read MoreManaging Terminal Restlessness

Documenting Observational Signs of Discomfort: A Guide for Hospice Nurses and Families

Person Writing In A Journal
As a hospice nurse, I understand the importance of documenting observational signs of discomfort in terminally ill patients. Sometimes, patients may not fully express or report their discomfort accurately, making it essential for caregivers and healthcare professionals to be attentive and document these signs. In this article, I will provide guidance to hospice nurses and families on documenting such signs and the benefits of journaling for both parties involved.
Read MoreDocumenting Observational Signs of Discomfort: A Guide for Hospice Nurses and Families

Understanding Laryngeal Cancer: What to Expect and How to Care

early symptoms of throat cancer infographic
Laryngeal cancer is a complex diagnosis for both patients and families. This article aims to provide guidance and support for families new to caring for a loved one with laryngeal cancer. We will discuss what to expect throughout the disease, the changes you may notice in your loved one, and how to provide optimal care from the initial diagnosis to the end.
Read MoreUnderstanding Laryngeal Cancer: What to Expect and How to Care

Avoiding Problematic Language in Hospice Nursing Narratives

Proper documentation is crucial for hospice nurses to ensure Medicare compliance and maintain the patient's eligibility for services. Auditors, who may not have a healthcare background, review these documents to determine if the patient's condition is terminal. To avoid having the patient removed from service due to improper documentation, hospice nurses should be mindful of the words and phrases they use in their nursing narratives and progress notes. This article will provide guidance on what to avoid and why it is essential to paint a picture of a terminally ill patient.
Read MoreAvoiding Problematic Language in Hospice Nursing Narratives

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