Nursing homework help. On February 21, 2020, I was blessed with the opportunity to observe a nurse for the day as she provided home health hospice care for her patients. The hospice care center provides more than a handful of services such as inpatient hospice care, outpatient home health hospice care, bereavement services, pediatric hospice care, hospice care for veterans, and various educational programs. These educational programs include hand hygiene, pain management, stress management, and many more. My nurse worked for the outpatient hospice center that provides hospice care for patients in their own home.
According to The American Cancer Society (2019), hospice care involves providing care that improves the quality of life for those with a life-limiting illness. Those who qualify for hospice care are in the end stages of incurable diseases. Hospice not only provides care for those that are ill, but for their families as well. The patient and their families receive education that helps prepare them for the end of life and provides support through the last stages of the patient’s life. Patients receiving hospice care typically are expected to live 6 months or less. Hospice care treats symptoms, manages pain, and provides comfort measures in order to improve the quality of life of their patients. Spiritual care is also offered to patients. This varies from patient to patient because everyone has different spiritual needs and religious beliefs. As I stated earlier, this can be done in the comfort of their own home or in an inpatient center.
The hospice center that I worked with offers services 24/7 for outpatient clients, but each shift plays a different role. Most patients are seen 2 days a week or daily Monday through Friday from 8-5. This shift assesses the patients, delivers medications and is a phone call away if patients have any concerns or need to be seen. The next shift is the night shift from about 5 am to 8 pm. These nurses or case managers provide similar care to those during the day, but their services are mostly on call since they are working overnight, which is the time most patients are resting and should not be disturbed for assessments. The weekend shift begins around 5 pm Friday afternoon and ends around 8 am on Monday. These nurses are available around the clock on call for any patient needs and for daily assessments if this is indicated. Daily assessments are common for patients that have a couple of weeks, days or hours of life left. All nurses are on call during their shifts for all their patients, wherever they may be, because they are the one who goes to their home and pronounces them, calls the doctor and the funeral home.
The nurses at this specific hospice care center provide home care for patients who live within approximately a 70-mile radius or an hour away. They provide hospice care for all ages from pediatric to geriatric, veterans included, and support services for their families as well. They care for patients with various diseases such as cancer, lung diseases, and liver diseases. During my observation, my nurse cared for patients with liver cirrhosis and leukemia. She did not administer medications, but she did provide education over how to administer medications, helped them set up their medications for the week in the weekly medication containers, taught them what side effects to watch for and when to call her, a physician or visit the ER. She also assessed them for their needs such as an order for albuterol. One of her patients was short of breath even while on a nasal cannula so she ordered albuterol for her, called the pharmacy for her and delivered it to her. She also made sure they had enough medications for at least the next week or two. If not, she would assist them with help to get them refilled and delivered. While at their homes, she would provide emotional support and education for their families if they were present.
According to my nurse, the center she works for is funded both by the state and by donations. She said all patients that qualify for hospice care are accepted whether they have the financial means or not.
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team (2019, May 10). What Is Hospice Care? Retrieved from

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