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Hospice Care

What Are Hospice Nurses

What Are Hospice Nurses

Hospice nursing is a rewarding but difficult job. Hospice nurses are responsible for overseeing the care of terminally ill patients. They provide dying individuals with essential palliative care. Hospice nursing is often emotionally draining for a nursing professional because each of his/her patients is suffering from a fatal illness.

A nurse may become attached to his/her patients knowing full well that eventually they will pass away. However, hospice nurses provide these patients with invaluable services and support. One of the primary functions of a hospice nurse is to ensure that patients remain as comfortable as possible. Therefore, they are responsible for constantly monitoring a patient's condition and administering necessary medicine to reduce any pain that he/she may be experiencing.

Hospice nursing focuses specifically on enacting measures to reduce pain and control symptoms. Hospice nurses may work in a hospice facility or may travel to patients' homes in order to provide care and support.

In most cases, each hospice patient is provided with one primary nurse, known as the case manager. This practice is utilized in order to establish a level of trust and comfort between a patient and his/her nurse. However, a hospice patient may come into contact with numerous other nurses throughout his/her time in a hospice program.

One of the first hospice nurses that a patient will communicate with is an admission nurse. When an individual wishes to enter a hospice program, he/she will generally be visited by an admission nurse who will analyze his/her condition and determine whether or not he/she is ready/suitable for hospice nursing. The admission nurse will complete a full examination of the individual's health and supply the physician with the fundamental findings from the assessment.

Nurses not assigned as case managers are often known as visit nurses. These nurses will provide immediate care to patients in the event of an emergency. If a case manager is not readily available, a visit nurse will ensure that the needs of the patient are addressed. Each of these nurses maintains important duties and responsibilities.

Hospice nursing is a job that requires patience and compassion. It also requires an individual to obtain an extensive education. In order for an individual to become a hospice nurse, he/she must become a registered nurse. An individual must first attain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Some positions will require an individual to obtain a master's degree, too.

On top of this an individual will be required to successfully complete a licensing exam. To boot, he/she must receive certification as a hospice worker from his/her state health department. Before he/she can become a licensed hospice nurse, he/she must a pass a hospice nurse exam and satisfy, at minimum, two years of experience working in a hospice program and a registered nurse.

Purpose of Hospice Explained

Purpose of Hospice Explained

Hospice services provide essential
care and support to individuals suffering from terminal illnesses
. Though it is a natural process, death is
frightening and often painful for individuals who are suffering from these

Each hospice service offered by an organization is intended to
reduce suffering and ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible during
their final weeks. Hospice services seek to address the emotional, physical,
and spiritual needs of each patient, and recognize that each patient/family is
extremely different from others, and therefore, has special and unique

Hospice services are intended for individuals that have less then a six-month
life expectancy. At this stage, a patient will require extensive emotional and
medical support. The uncertainty that comes with death may be a source of
anxiety and trepidation for dying patients. Hospice services will provide
patients with access to counseling and spiritual guidance as well.

are readily available for hospice patients, and they are often a source of
comfort for the terminally ill, for often in the face of death, individuals
attain a state of calm by reaffirming their faith and praying with clergymen.
When individuals feel close to their God and strong in their faith, they often
feel more comfortable with the thought of passing away. Clergymen work closely
with hospice workers in order to amplify this comfort.

Another major concern associated with death is the
possibility of pain. Many patients who are suffering from terminal illnesses
are afraid that the pain will continue to increase as they become closer to
death. Hospice doctors and nurses are trained and educated in the latest and most
effective medications. The hospice service provided by medical professionals is
intended to successfully diminish pain and ensure that patients remain as
relaxed and content as possible.

However, hospice services avoid inducing
benumbed and unresponsive behavior due to large doses of pain medication. A hospice
service organization seeks to reduce pain while ensuring that the patient
remains alert. As long as a patient is comfortable, he/she will not be
administered an excessive quantity of medication that may inhibit his/her
ability to talk or function. In addition to pain-reducing procedures, the
organization also provides patients with access to physical therapists. 

boot, this hospice service allows patients to remain mobile. If a patient
exhibits a strong desire to remain self-sufficient, this hospice service will
assist him/her in achieving this.

Each hospice service has been developed in order to ensure that dying patients
are at peace, and aims to guarantee that patient’s dignity is upheld. While
clergymen and medical professionals address patients’ physical and spiritual
needs, therapists and counselors are on hand to address their emotional needs.
Counselors are available to assist patients through conventional methods of
therapy, as well as massage therapy, music therapy, and art therapy.

hospice organizations are nationally recognized for their humanitarian efforts,
one important and beneficial hospice service that is often overlooked is the
emotional and physical assistance that hospice workers provide families.
Watching a family member pass away is extremely difficult for any individual,
but hospice care provides families with the tools that they need to cope.

What Are The Facilities for Terminally Ill Elders

What Are The Facilities for Terminally Ill Elders

In many cases, a terminally ill
individual will request to spend his/her remaining time in his/her own home.
Indeed, it is common for hospice patients to shun the idea of entering into a
facility or a hospital. In instances such as these, the family of a dying
individual will be required to take on the care of the patient.

Hospices will
offer home hospice
services to patients who choose to remain in
their own home and their families. However, some patients are not comfortable
with the idea of dying in their homes. They may feel that this will be too
difficult on their family. Otherwise, a patient may not want his/her family to
assume the caregiver role.

In these cases, terminally ill individuals may
choose to enter hospices. Hospices provide dying individuals with a secure and
comfortable location to spend their final months. These facilities can be found
in most major cities. In smaller or more rural communities, hospice patients may
be relocated to hospitals or nursing homes in order to receive extended
treatment from hospice caregivers. Hospices offer numerous advantages to hospice
patients and their families.

When terminally ill individuals choose to enter hospices, they have access to
essential and beneficial medical care at all times. If their symptoms worsen, a
doctor or a nurse will be available to administer medication that will diminish
any pain the patient is experiencing. While in a facility, hospice patients
have access to services
aimed at
ensuring their comfort, including therapy, counseling, and spiritual guidance.

A physical therapist will often be on hand to assist hospice patients in
remaining mobile. A patient will also have the ability to socialize with
individuals experiencing similar situations. A terminally ill individual often
feels isolated from his/her family, as they have not experienced the fear and
anxiety that he/she is now facing, and this likely only to intensify in a paid
facility. However, the ability to communicate with other terminally ill
individuals about their feelings and experiences may help to provide a patient
with some measure of relief and comfort.

When an individual enters a hospice facility, doctors and nurses become
responsible for his/her care. Therefore, it is important for a family to ensure
that a facility employs a medical staff that can more than adequately address
the needs of their loved one. If it does not, the needs of the patients may go

In many cases, there are multiple hospice facilities within the same
city. Before an individual enters into a hospice, he/she and his/her family
should visit more than one location. One facility may have a more effective
staff than another, or more suitable services to address the needs of certain
patients. If a family locates a facility that they are comfortable with, this
will allow them to continue spending time with their loved one without having to
assume the role of caregivers.  

Quick Overview on Home Hospice

Quick Overview on Home Hospice

When an individual is diagnosed with a
terminal illness, he/she has the option of obtaining hospice care. In many
instances, an individual and his/her family decides that it is best for him/her
to enter a hospice facility
. At a hospice, a patient has continuous
access to medical attention should the need arise. The medical staff employed
at a hospice can ensure that a patient remains comfortable and can administer
medication to reduce pain.

The services that are offered at hospices often make
these facilities an attractive choice for patients. However, this does not mean
that this option is appropriate for all individuals. While there are many
benefits to hospice facilities for both patients and their families, some
individuals simply can not stomach the idea of remaining in a hospice for their
final weeks.

Many individuals would much rather remain in the comfort of their
own home. In some cases, this simply is not possible. Nevertheless, if a
patient adamantly desires to remain at home, then his/her family should do
everything in their power to fulfill this desire.

Home hospice care can be very taxing on a family. Home caregivers are required
to devote a great deal of time, energy, and dedication to the care of a loved
one. Caring for a terminally ill individual is very physically and emotionally
draining process. Often, terminally ill individuals require constant
supervision. Their condition must be monitored regularly so that any changes
can be addressed. Home caregivers must ensure that a dying individual is
receiving constant attention. A home hospice aide will educate a family about
the proper way to care for their loved one.

They will be provided with effective
medication and will be taught how to administer this medication in the event
that it is necessary to reduce pain. A home hospice aide will also inform a
family about the various symptoms that present themselves as a given condition

In short, all inquiries and aspects of patient care will be
addressed by a home hospice aide, in order to ensure that home caregivers are
comfortable caring for their loved one. Home hospices aides will make frequent
visits to the home to assist in the care of the patient.

Despite the assistance offered by home hospice aides, many home caregivers
continue to find home care very difficult. This is often due to a patient’s
inability to move or function effectively on his or her own. Often, individuals
who require hospice care are elderly and have difficulty completing regular
activities. They need assistance in all daily routines, including bathing,
using the bathroom, and eating. This can be physically exhausting for home

The emotional effects of caring for a dying individual are often
much more painful than the physical effects. In most cases, home caregivers are
loving family members of the patient. It may therefore be very difficult for an
individual to watch a loved one deteriorate and suffer. However, allowing a
patient to spend his/her remaining time in the comfort of his/her home may be
important to the patient. Knowing that he/she has fulfilled the desire of
his/her loved one may be helpful for a caregiver.

Definition of Hospice

Definition of Hospice

Throughout history, a hospice has been
a location dedicated to providing lodging and care to the ill and the
destitute, as well as to pilgrims and travelers. In general, hospices were
maintained by monastic orders that would ensure that these visitors were
adequately cared for. In 1967, Dr. Cicely Saunders adopted the term to describe
a facility in which terminally ill patients could receive palliative care and
comfort during their last weeks.

The first hospice, St. Christopher’s Hospice,
was established by Dr. Saunders in London. Since the creation of these palliative
care facilities, countries throughout the world have begun to offer hospice
care to dying individuals. Today, the place or central location in which the
care is administered is no longer the fundamental aspect of hospice care.
Instead, hospice refers to the nature of the care and palliative treatment
conducted by doctors, nurses, and volunteers.

Unlike aggressive treatment intended to cure fatal but reversible diseases, hospice
care seeks to comfort individuals with terminal diseases
during their final weeks of life. Hospice
care providers acknowledge that dying is a natural and necessary part of life.

The most important aspect of this process is to minimize suffering and ensure
that a patient is as comfortable as possible. This form of palliative care does
not seek to quicken or postpone death. It simply assists in preparing
individuals and families for death with the hope of minimal suffering for the

The large majority of individuals that seek hospice care are suffering
from cancer. However, a hospice will provide care to an individual of any age
no matter what type of illness he/she is suffering from. This type of palliative
care is beneficial for individuals who wish to spend their final weeks in their
own home, or in a comfortable, homelike environment.

Though some hospices are
established and funded by specific religious denominations, they may offer care
to a large community and would not refuse care due to a patient’s religious

In most cases, discussing end-of-life care is difficult for both a patient and
his/her family. However, in instances of terminal illness, aggressive treatment
options generally prolong suffering and increase pain. Hospice care can provide
both patients and families with comfort and support through the process of
death. A patient may wish to speak with friends, doctors and clergymen about palliative
care. Most health insurance providers cover hospice care, including private insurance
companies, Medicare, and Medicaid in the majority of states.

A hospice will
help an individual to determine whether or not he/she is eligible for
palliative care coverage. In the event that an individual’s insurance does not
cover hospice care, and he/she can not afford this care, a hospice may provide
care to him/her utilizing supplemental foundation funds.

What Are The Governing Laws for Organizations

What Are The Governing Laws for Organizations

As much as most skilled nursing facilities emphasize a “homey” environment in their operations and treatment of residents, they are still are offering semi-public services to those with the means to be housed in such places. As such, they are bound, much as all businesses are, to sets of standards at both the state and federal level.

Regarding whether nursing home laws are primarily a manifestation of state or federal laws, really, both jurisdictions exert a great deal of influence on the consistent approval of facilities. State health departments use in-person visits as their main instrument to gauge nursing homes’ accordance with nursing home law.

At least once a year, state surveyors will occupy skilled nursing facilities for their compliance with upwards of 100 different nursing and building operation codes, including the preparation of food according to standards of cleanliness and correctness as far as meeting the nutritional needs of individual residents goes, the safe storage of medical and non-medical supplies, non-restrictive protection of patient safety, and the general attitude of the staff and residents. As noted elsewhere, neglecting one or more of these areas may force the assessment of fines, additional reviews by surveyors, recommendations to cut federal funding, and takeovers by agents of the state.

As for federal nursing home laws to be met, again, compliance with benchmarks for Medicare and Medicaid receipt are not to be overlooked. One particular condition for the continued allocation of Social Security Act funds is the completion of what is known as the Minimum Data Set (MDS) instrument, authorized and reviewed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), itself governed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The MDS is an assessment tool that gauges how well residents/patients are performing in terms of their physical health and overall well-being. According to nursing home law, minimum data sets must be filled out for all residents within a facility, and accurately, at that. It goes without saying that other nursing home laws may not be violated in the act of completion, namely that of an individual’s right to privacy in matters of his or her medical history.

Aside from the CMS and state health bureaus, other organizations have an interest in upholding the nursing home laws of the United States. One group in particular that exerts a sizable influence on applications of nursing home law in this country is the American Health Care Association.

AHCA, as it is known for short, is a non-profit, nationwide coalition of health care providers that advocates on behalf of all long-term residents in nursing facilities to get the highest quality of care possible, directly exerting pressure on Congress to amend nursing home laws along the lines of these pursuits. Meanwhile, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations serves as an additional watchdog on nursing homes and like facilities to insure that they are offering the best care for the greatest value possible.