The work of hospice nurses involves treatment of patients diagnosed with terminal illness. Their job is unlike other nurses who do not have to serve patients suffering from terminal illness. This job needs you to be mentally tough. Hospice nurse salary and other details pertaining to this job are dealt with, in this article.
A hospice nurse is a professional, working in the medical field who looks after patients suffering from a disease, disorder or an illness that requires palliative treatment. These nurses work in hospitals settings and also at home. The care and treatment needed by terminally ill patients make the job of these nurses quite important.
Average Hospice Nurse Salary
The salary of a hospice nurse is calculated on both hourly basis and annually. Let us have a look at the annual and hourly salary earned by hospice nurses. The hourly rate of payment for hospice nurses is between $25.53 and $33.13. If we take into account the additional payments of overtime, this hourly rate of service increases; in case of overtime the hourly rate ranges between $36.68 and $50.88.
Annual salary of a hospice nurse can be anything between $52,560 and $68,910. The demand for hospice service is expected to rise in the near future. This is because the aging population in developed countries should rise.
A Bachelor’s degree of science in nursing is necessary to become a hospice nurse. The hospice nurses, just like other nurses needs to follow the same procedure of registration; it means that a hospice nurse should first be a registered nurse or ‘RN’. A bachelor’s degree is not necessary to become a registered nurse; it is not a compulsory requirement. Obtaining certification from health department of a state apart from the registration is necessary.
The certification is obtained from National Board for Certification of Hospice proves to be of great help in order to have a good career in this field. Those who truly love to work as a hospice worker can also think about pursuing a master’s degree. It is also possible to gain specialized knowledge about a certain specific illness and work as hospice nurse for patients with that illness only.
Hospice Nurse Job Description
A hospice nurse has to handle many responsibilities in the process of serving the patients through palliative treatment. The palliative form of treatment is used to mitigate or lessen the effects/pain that patients suffer from. Those patients who cannot be cured completely are offered such type of treatment.
A hospice nurse needs to have the knowledge of medical history of the patient they are serving. It is through knowledge of patients medical history that proper treatment can be given to them. This information about the patient is obtained from their physicians. The physicians also guide hospice nurses in the process of procuring the medications, equipment needed for treatment and other supplies.
Family members of the patient can let the nurse know about nature and general psychology of the patient. It should prove to be helpful for the nurse in dealing with the patient in a better manner. The hospice nurse job description is incomplete without explanation of qualities and skills other than that learned through formal education. Let us have a look at the information about the different qualities which need to be possessed by hospice workers through following paragraph.
Qualities of a Good Hospice Nurse
The important details and requirements for a job of hospice nurse are listed in the paragraphs above. Along with the above mentioned requirements, it is also important for a hospice nurse to have the following qualities. Listening to the patients with patience, and understanding their problems is one of the important qualities that hospice nurses need to possess. A kind and compassionate nature is the prime requirement or quality for working with terminally ill patients. Along with medications, these patients also need mental support.
Keeping the patients mentally and physically stable is therefore, the responsibility of hospice nurses. The hospice nurses should be capable of working in emergency situations i.e. when the health of patient deteriorates. The emergency situations could be anything from vomiting, seizures to respiratory problems, etc. Monitoring the patient and finding out problems if any that he/she suffering is one of the important jobs of hospice nurses. Keen observation is therefore, a skill that these professionals need to possess.
The details about hospice nurse salary and job description presented in this article should be useful for those who are thinking about working this field. It is also important to possess the different qualities described above in order to become a good hospice nurse.