Louisiana hospice nurses have one of the most difficult yet rewarding jobs out of anyone in the healthcare industry. Helping patients and providing them with end-of-life care can seem like a daunting task for anyone that has lost a loved one. But, the nurses at Hospice of South Louisiana approach each day and each patient with grace, humility, and compassion. We interviewed a number of nurses here to understand what they found most rewarding as a Louisiana hospice nurse.
“Making a Difference”
Out of all the interviews we performed with different nurses, one thing stuck out – they all felt like they were making a difference in the lives of their patients and their patient’s family members. This feeling of effecting positive change is critical for hospice nurses and their patients. In an industry that outsiders may view as inherently somber, our hospice nurses report a sense of hope and optimism. One nurse said, “To be part of that transition in someone’s life is a privilege – I feel honored to have a hand in a peaceful expiration.” Hospice nurses and caregivers have many roles but it’s important to remember that their first priority is providing comfort to their patient. When asked about what they found most rewarding, another nurse stated, “Making a difference. It is very fulfilling knowing I have made a difference for a patient or family member in a positive way. Our Louisiana hospice nurses see patients and families at their most vulnerable and they don’t take that responsibility or role lightly.
“Family as Part of Care”
Caring for family members and tending to their needs is also a large part of being a hospice nurse. Though the hospice patient is the primary focus of a nurse, of course, the family plays an integral role in their care. Many of our hospice nurses cited the connection with patients’ families as one of the most important parts of their day-to-day activities. One nurse stated that “forming relationships with patients and family members” was an impactful and rewarding benefit of being a Louisiana hospice nurse. When asked what they found most rewarding, another nurse said, “Helping families through the events that lead up to a patient passing is also a good feeling. Knowing I was able to help families understand and accept the dying process all while showing compassion and respect.” We understand the importance that family members have in a patient’s passing. As caregivers with extensive experience guiding patients through the end-of-life process, we know how difficult it can be for their loved ones. Our nurses and staff take on the seriousness of this role by guiding family members every step of the way.
“Quality Over Quantity”
When a patient enters into hospice care, they understand that they may not have much time left. It’s critical for our hospice nurses to focus on the quality of that time rather than dwell on the quantity of days or months remaining. One nurse put it, “It’s not the amount of days left in a patient’s life, it’s the comfort, joy, and assurance brought to the patient and family during those days.” Our hospice nurses work with patients and families, not just to make them comfortable, but also to allow them to enjoy life to its fullest with the time they have with their friends and family. Nurses make personal connections with patients and get to know them on a deeper level. One nurse stated, “Talking with patients one on one and really getting to know the person’s loves, joys, passions, and even fears is something I will cherish.” They went on to quote Hippocrates in saying, “It is far more important to know what person the disease has than what disease the person has.” The connections hospice nurses make with their patients go beyond the typical patient/provider relationships. They learn from each other about the dying process. As one nurse said, “I am teaching others while also constantly learning. I love being able to educate patients and family.”
The Importance of Louisiana Hospice Nurses
Hospice nurses are some of the last people to spend time with a patient before they pass, helping them both physically and emotionally through their most difficult time. They need to share their knowledge and compassion while staying positive and assisting with the medical realities of each patient. Contact Hospice of Louisiana today if you want to learn more about the role of hospice nurses or how they help patients and families.