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Defining Hospice Nursing: What the Best Hospice Care Looks Like

presented by Jennifer Kennedy, EdD, MA, BSN, RN, CHC

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial— Jennifer Kennedy receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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This course provides an outline of hospice care nursing for individuals who are in the last six months of less of their life. Participants will learn to identify the unique aspects of providing palliative nursing care for a patient with a serious illness who requires symptom management and preparation for death. The course will provide a review of how the hospice nurse manages the patient/family plan of care and serves as the coordinator of care for the hospice interdisciplinary team.

Meet Your Instructor

Jennifer Kennedy, EdD, MA, BSN, RN, CHC

Dr. Jennifer Kennedy is the vice president for quality and standards at Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP) and is a nationally recognized hospice expert. She has more than 35 years of experience as a leader and nurse in diverse healthcare settings and has worked in hospice and palliative care for the last 20+ years. She…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Hospice Care Nursing

Hospice care nursing is a unique niche of nursing care provision where dying comfortably and with dignity is the primary goal of care for the patient and their family. Hospice nurses work as part of an interdisciplinary team to implement patient/family focused goals of care that are aimed at an optimal death experience. This chapter defines hospice nursing care in the palliative care continuum and the characteristics of a nurse who chooses to provide hospice care.

2. The Elements of Hospice Care Nursing

Hospice care is focused on providing care to patients in their last six months or less of life where goals focus on life comfort and life closure. These goals of care differ greatly from traditional nursing where goals for care are usually focused on improvement of the patient’s status. This chapter will discuss the distinctive elements of hospice care nursing for patients and families at the end of life.

3. Responsibilities of the Hospice Nurse in the Hospice Team

The hospice nurse is a part of a larger interdisciplinary team that care for the patient and the family. The nurse is designated as the manager of the patient/family plan of care per the Medicare Hospice regulations and serves as a coordinator of care for the entire team. This chapter will examine the hospice nurse’s responsibilities in the provision of hospice care to the patient and their family.

4. Benefits and Challenges of Hospice Nursing

Engaging as a clinician in hospice care can be rewarding and stressful at the same time. Many hospice nurses feel that hospice chose them versus the other way around and that ministering to an individual and their family at the end of life is a privilege. Hospice nurses also walk a precarious line between compassion and burnout, and strive to maintain balance between each element. This chapter will review the benefits and challenges of hospice care nursing in the palliative care continuum.

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