Hospice, A Labor of Love

When choosing the area of healthcare in which to work, why would someone choose hospice care? Aren’t there more glamorous and lucrative work situations in the healthcare arena? Of course, there are. But, thankfully, a significant number of healthcare professionals choose to be part of the world of hospice.

For many, the experience of seeing how hospice care has worked with a member of their own family is the primary motivating factor. For others, a fellow nurse or home health aide may have passed along details about the good feeling that comes from helping patients and families. The uniqueness of hospice care, the only form of healthcare in which every patient is expected to die, attracts other medical personnel.

The work of caring for terminal patients can be gratifying, but it can also be heart breaking. The mental stresses and the physical stresses of the job require a special person for the task. The hospice professional has to have thorough medical training, but is also called on to use other skills, such as negotiating with a patient (and, occasionally, with a family member). A hospice nurse or home health aide may be required to help a patient get into and out of a chair or a bed, which is not always an easy chore. Patient and family dynamics cover the spectrum so hospice staff members have to be flexible in order to deal with situations as they arise.

Hospice workers, unlike most of today’s healthcare professionals, make house calls. As opposed to working all day in a sparking clean modern office, hospice workers experience a variety of home situations. Hope Hospice team members visit patients in all parts of our service area: St. Louis city, the suburbs and even some rural areas.

The payoff for hospice workers comes not just on payday, but also when families tell them how much they are appreciated. Hospice patients do things that family members and other caregivers cannot do. They provide valuable information and guidance to family members and caregivers. And they do it at a time when a family is dealing with this stressful, literally once-in-a-lifetime, situation.

As we at Hope Hospice know and are reminded often, it takes a special person to work in hospice. It is a labor of love. We are proud of our team and the great service they provide to our patients every day.

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