Career Profile: Hospice Nurse

A hospice nurse is one of the most important parts of palliative care. Hospice nurses are similar to other nurses in their duties, like the administration of medication, caring for patients and providing emotional support. They also observe patients and work with physicians in order to provide patients with the best care available.

Working as a hospice nurse is not easy. You know from the start that your patient will not survive, no matter what you do. Consequently, the object of the hospice nurse is to monitor conditions and administer medication to reduce pain, not to cure. This special nurse makes sure that the patient's final days of life are comfortable.

Hospice Nurse
Hospice Nurses typically have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and have passed the National Board for the Certification of Hospice Nurses' exam
It takes a caring person to do this job. You need patience and resolve in order to treat patients you know you can't help. The majority of hospice patients have cancer, but AIDS, Lou Gehrig's disease and heart and lung disease also affect many. The primary job of the hospice nurse is to alleviate pain and prevent suffering, letting the patient live out their final days as comfortably as possible.

The hospice nurse is in charge of mediating between the patient's family and the physician. They are also charged with the coordination of patients and medication. A case manager will ensure that the nursing staff is equipped with all necessary supplies and medication, and is prepared to provide the necessary elements of patient care. Your nurse will design a plan of care, and is trained with a specialized nursing degree to perform skilled nursing procedures.

Hospices are required to provide services, both emotional and spiritual, that allow terminally ill patients to spend their last days at home with family. Many hospice nurses work at the patient's home, spending time with the patient for hours a day. In the event of a crisis, like respiratory failure or the active stage of death, a hospice nurse is required to stay until the event ends through medical care.

Hospices provide around the clock nursing care, supporting your loved ones twenty-four hours a day. As a result, many nurses have to work through the night in order to maintain quality care.

One of the most difficult parts of the role is explaining to the family what to expect. The nurse will walk the patient's family through the final stages of the illness, letting them know when and how to expect the active stage of dying. The nurse also provides emotional support for the family in this difficult time.

Hospice nurses provide care for the family after the death of the patient. Frequently, the nurse will visit in the weeks after the patient's passing to assist in the grieving process.

In order to become a hospice nurse, you'll need to be a registered nurse and have a Bachelor of Science degree is nursing. After two years of full-time work in a hospice nursing practice, you can take the National Board for the Certification of Hospice Nurses' exam. After passing the test, you will be a certified hospice nurse.


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Online College Programs vs. Campus College Programs

While most employers will value a degree from an established campus college without question, there is a different response from employers reviewing applications for those that list an online college degree completion. Should a degree from an online college be valued the same as a campus college degree? The times are quickly changing and while the question is valid now, as online education continues to grow and improve their technology for course delivery, in the near future there may be no question at all to consider.

Frequently, online students encounter questions about the validity of their degree. However, if you avoid the "degree mills" that give you an official sounding degree but offer no accreditation, you should wind up with a legitimate degree. Consider taking virtual courses from an established school, like George Washington University, or register for a recognized online classroom course.

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Students that enroll in an online nursing degree program from an accredited university typically have no problem during the interview process post-graduation. Hospitals and healthcare facilities have embraced online education and many offer financial assistance for their nurses that want to pursue advanced degrees.
Unfortunately, un-accredited universities and degree mills are besmirching the reputation of distance learning. It may be worth your time to perform a quick search online for the name of the college you are considering with the word "unaccredited" or "fraud". The results can either bring you peace of mind or reasons to investigate further.

However, there are still dozens of schools with quality reputations; just make sure to research your online college before you enroll. Employers have expectations about the quality of worker hired when his credentials list Harvard University, Boston College or UC Berkeley, but there is less known about distance learning institutions.

As a consequence, completing a degree program with very little history or reputation as a credible establishment can have an effect on how your education is perceived. Those who attend more recognized online schools like University of Phoenix or Walden University will see that human resource managers have less questions about the validity of those types of colleges as they are well-known across the country.

In terms of what kinds of degrees you should be taking classes towards in an online program, Masters degrees are considered more credible than bachelor's degrees, although neither have the prestige of a traditional degree. 26% of human resource professionals accept an online degree as the equivalent of a campus degree, while they accept 37% of Masters degrees as a brick and mortar equal.

Depending on the industry you plan on entering, some online degrees may be more accepted. Those in technology, interior design or culinary arts fields can expect employers to be more open to interviewing applicants with degrees from an online institution, whereas those seeking employment at law firms or in specialized fields of medicine will have a more of a challenge competing with other applicants who have traditional campus degrees. This is due to the face-to-face interaction of standard classroom format. Degrees that are based on computers allow you a day-by-day interaction through the class, whereas a Biology major from an online program would not have been given the same materials as a traditional student.

In the end, the credibility and validity of your degree truly depends on the person that is hiring you and your ability to sell yourself based on the knowledge you gained through your online education. Some may favor work experience; others may care about the university from which you graduated upon. Additionally, choosing a college with a broad alumni base will help you network in the future, as it increases the potential that one of the employees already hired will be from the same college as you. Nonetheless, as the number of students enrolling online continues to increase exponentially, companies are being forced into the 21st century and are incorporating ways to seriously consider virtual degree applicants evenly with campus degree applicants.

A lot of companies these days are adding continuing education to employee benefits and support those that want to advance their career through online training. Many employers even offer financial assistance or paid leave for employees to participate in these programs, just like they would for someone heading back to a campus for traditional schooling.

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Effective Ways for Healthcare Facilities to Recruit Nurses

Across our nation, healthcare facilities are dealing with the most severe deficiency of qualified nurses in over 50 years. All types of agencies are now involved with their attempts to infuse nurses into the system, be it funding, legislation or volunteerism. While the recent efforts have move things in the right direction with a 2% increase in the number of working nurses last year, the reality is that hospitals need to hire 95% more nurses over the next 15 years to fill the demand.

When ads for nurses are in trade magazines and newspapers, you have the first signs of a regional shortage. When salaries rise, this is indicative of a larger shortage, following the rules of supply and demand. However, today's economy has nurses being laid off, and overstaffing is driving nurses out of the work force as a consequence of dissatisfaction.

The recent recession has had a negative impact on funding for recruitment as well. Money spent on advertising and wage increases has diminished, which limits recruitment to some of the lesser effective forms of recruitment.

Support for pro-nurse legislation is an effective means of recruiting nurses to your hospital. Showing that you care about nurse-to-patient ratios intimates care for the nurses, as both a group of workers, and as individuals.

Hospitals that provide sign-on bonuses for specialized nursing, like labor and delivery, or undesirable positions, like night shifts, do well in attracting applicants. Because studies are showing that specialized nursing fields are getting the worst of the nursing shortage, some hospitals are offering the nurses already on staff scholarships and other opportunities to be trained in these areas, like emergency room and critical care.

Billboards, commercials, website ads and other means of advertisements have continued to be proven method for nurse recruitment. Public service announcements provide valuable information about one of the only remaining American industries experiencing growth. One of the biggest untapped resources in the nursing field is man. Advertisements that appeal to men, rather than women, can help bring in both jobs and diversity in the workplace.

Increased salaries is a significant factor in advertising for applicants. Yet wage increases and increases in non-wage benefits, like health club memberships, benefits currently employed nurses more than the new nurses. Over time, the nation will experience the challenge of nursing shortages as the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age.

International recruitment provides short-term relief of the nursing shortage. International advertising for nursing roles has increased recently hoping that qualified applicants will make the move and immigrate to America knowing that there are many openings. While this is often the case, the long-term benefit is not there since these nurses will eventually go back to their country of citizenship, leaving the hospital with the same vacancies.

Increased focus on programs that offer financial aid for nursing degree programs can have a positive impact on the number of healthcare workers that can feel these vacancies in the near future. As more financial aid is available for prospective nursing students, the number of graduates will increase and fill the open roles in the heathcare facilities across the country. Affordable schooling can open a lot of doors for hospitals.

Lastly, a hospital's ability to retain their staff for long periods of time can be their best asset when recruiting nurses. Offering benefits and education opportunities makes for a happier staff, and one that would be more likely to advertise your hospital by word of mouth.

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Candy Striper - The Star Volunteer in Hospitals

A candy striper is a hospital volunteer who functions under nurse supervision. The name came from the traditional uniform that volunteers wore, that looked like peppermint candy, although this outfit isn't frequently worn today. Previous generations of female volunteers wore pink and white dresses, but the modern candy striper will wear a uniform shirt with pants, as well as a hospital ID that lists name and position.

The modern candy striper is between thirteen and eighteen years of age and are typically female, because the role was originally created as a female job, but the number of men in the field is ever increasing.

These volunteers are integral to the success of the hospital, thanks to their interactions with both nurses and patients. Duties range, but are frequently constrained to clerical activities, as a result of insurance liability. Candy stripers usually work in reception, gift shops, and nursing and administration stations. Some will transport items between units, or visit lonely patients, but these jobs require more experience.

One of the candy stripers most important duties is attending to patients. Overburdened hospitals don't have the resources to provide patients with frequent one-on-one care, past the necessary time spent diagnosing and treating. Candy stripers make a hospital visit pleasant by eating with, reading to, assisting or delivering items to patients. Though they fulfill many other duties, these are the primary jobs fulfilled by the volunteer.

Experienced candy stripers have a number of opportunities in a hospital to gain knowledge about the medical field. Seasoned volunteers clean rooms, transport records and drugs from unit to unit, and can bring in lab specimens for testing. Overall, older candy stripers will spend more of their time interacting with health care professionals than do younger candy stripers, who spend most of their time with patients.

Training for the job usually takes only a few days. Candy stripers are most frequently employed at teaching hospitals, because the volunteering experience allows pre-med students and those working towards an advanced nursing degree a chance to work with patients, while relieving the care staff of more menial duties. Many students volunteering at the hospital find the familiarity worthwhile, as it's one of the rare chances for a high school or college student to get a hands-on learning experience in a medical environment.

Finally, there are a number of steps before you can jump into volunteering at your local hospital. You'll need to complete an application, which includes references and parental consent if you're less than eighteen years old, and interview. Should you be chosen to volunteer, you will need to take a tuberculosis skin test and undergo a physical exam. This ensures that you won't infect patients under your care.

When applying to become a candy striper, it's important to keep a dependable schedule. Be sure that you leave time every week for volunteering, as the experience is impossible to replace for those interested in the medical field.

To make your experience as a candy striper the best it can be, you must make sure that you maintain first-rate behavior at all times, because your conduct reflects on the institution you work for. If you are able to observe all hospital policies, you'll be sure to get a great reference in the future.

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