In nursing, we know first impressions are vital. The Alive Hospice admission nurse is one of the first members of the team of that provides care for our patients and families. Because the admission nurse is the first member of the team to arrive, her or his face is the face of Alive Hospice. They set the expectations, the tone, and experience the patient and family will use to form their perception of Alive Hospice.¬†
They personify nursing expertise liberally laced with caring, compassion, and love.¬†
The admission¬†nurse plays a very important role by helping the patient and/or family with their immediate needs, often in a crisis situation whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. Unmanaged pain or difficulty with¬†breathing are only two of several crisis symptoms that prompt families to call to enroll their loved ones with Alive Hospice. Sadly, because there is so much misunderstanding about hospice, patients and their families often delay calling. They¬†fear that a call to hospice signals ‚Äúthe end.‚ÄĚ In reality, research indicates that patients can often live longer and more comfortably if they enroll in hospice earlier.
When the admission nurse arrives, he or she must quickly and efficiently assess the situation and¬†implement a plan that will alleviate anxiety and¬†confusion and increase comfort.¬†The admission nurse¬†must be attuned to psychological and spiritual issues that may arise during the admission process, then¬†mobilize the rest of the team to jump into action¬†using his or her¬†observations and interventions.
Many people call them angels. When¬†patients and families¬†meet the rest of the Alive Hospice team they again use “angel” to describe the professional expertise and compassion they experience.