Our Clinical Caregivers
Gentle Hands, Calming Voices, Real Answers
Our clinical caregivers are there for the whole family, through all the ups and downs a serious illness can bring. Many of our staff members speak of serving families in crisis as a "privilege;" you may also hear Hospice work referred to as "a calling," not just a career choice.
Many of our staff members speak of serving families in crisis as a "privilege;" you may also hear Hospice work referred to as "a calling," not just a career choice.
Nurse Practitioners (NP's)
A Nurse Practitioner, or NP, works under the supervision of a physician to provide the same services as an MD. They examine, diagnose, and prescribe, just like a physician. You may have seen a Nurse Practitioner at a doctor's office without realizing she was not a doctor. Like physicians, NP's can work in a wide variety of settings, from family practices to specialists' offices.
Our Nurse Practitioners...
- Work primarily with our Palliative Care program
- Are Often the first Care Team member the patient will meet
- Assess the patient's physical and emotional condition
- Identify issues with pain or uncontrolled symptoms (nausea, shortness of breath, etc.)
- Confer with the patient's physician and our Medical Director on easing or eliminating the pain or symptoms
All our Nurse Practitioners are required to have work experience relevant to Hospice care. Our NP's typically specialize in Family Medicine or Geriatric Medicine
Registered Nurses (RN's)
Often called "angels" by family members, Hospice nurses are special caregivers. Hospice nurses come from all types of backgrounds: long-term care, family practices, hospitals, etc. Many of our nurses had personal experiences with Hospice in their own families, and were inspired to become Hospice professionals themselves.
Depending on the situation, Hospice nurses can play many roles: not just healthcare professional, but counselor, friend, confidante, and cheerleader. On any given visit, the nurse will...
- Use special medicines or methods to keep the patient comfortable and free of pain
- Assess new problems or changes in the patient's condition
- Talk with the patient, family, our Medical Director, and/or the patient's physician about any needed comfort care measures
- Discuss any questions or concerns with the patient and family
We encourage all our nurses to become Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurses (CHPN's). This national certification formally recognizes a nurse's competence and knowledge in our work, and his or her dedication to providing the best care possible for all seriously ill patients. It is suggested that nurses complete two years in Hospice work before pursuing the credential.
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA's)
Certified Nursing Assistants are known by many names: CNA's, nurse's aides, home health aides, and more. By any name, a CNA provides the patient with much-needed personal care, like...
- Bathing and toileting
- Shaving or makeup application
- Assistance with meals
Since some patients need their help daily or near-daily, many CNA's become fixtures in the patient's household. They are much-loved by our families and often mentioned by name on our surveys.
Because of the intimate nature of their work, we look for CNA's who are naturally compassionate and empathic, with healthy doses of kindness and humor. As with our nurses, we encourage all our CNA's to pursue Certified Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant (CHPNA) certification. CHPNA's must complete 2000 practice hours under the supervision of a Registered Nurse, as well as a recommended two years in Hospice care, before sitting for the certification exam.