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Working for a Hospice vs. Working for a Hospital

Hospice: Slow Paced, Off Your Feet, & Intimate

Image of a hospice care nurse in pink scrubs holding the hand and smiling up at an elderly in a wheelchair

Working at a hospital typically involves twelve-hour shifts, much of which is spent on your feet, and a steady stream of new short-term patients. Depending on the environment, hospital nursing is likely a bit more fast-paced than hospice nursing, though hospice nursing does involve extensive communication, collaboration, documentation, and follow-ups. Hospital nurses are typically interacting with, and utilizing, more sophisticated medical equipment than hospice nurses.

Hospice care is typically provided in the patient’s home, so you are driving to visit patients throughout the day. Each visit typically lasts about an hour, so you have ample time to get to know your patients and their families. Additionally, many of our patients are on our service for several months, so that gives you the opportunity to bond with your patients and families and develop a real connection over time.

Hospice: Work Across Multiple Disciplines 

Image of a hospice care nurse in blue scrubs with a stethoscope draped on neck, smiling confidently

Hospice care is provided by an interdisciplinary team, so as a hospice nurse case manager, you are coordinating the care of a hospice aide, social worker, spiritual advisor, and volunteers, to ensure that the patient and family’s needs are met. The interdisciplinary nature of hospice work is one of its primary strengths, as different disciplines offer different perspectives on the needs of the patient and family, and the hospice nurse plays a significant role in synthesizing the feedback from the interdisciplinary team and developing a plan of care that is personalized to the physical, emotion, spiritual, and psycho-social needs of the patient and the family.

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