A spirit of teamwork and good communication are vital elements in the operation of a hospice care agency like Hope Hospice. To patients and families, the nurses who make multiple visits each week to patient homes are the most familiar faces of the organization. But it takes a team to care for each patient and that teamwork is demonstrated each Wednesday morning at the Hope Hospice staff meeting.
During the meeting, which generally lasts about two hours, the staff is updated on half of the patient roster. The following Wednesday, updates on the other half of the patient roster are presented.
First, the staff is told the latest evaluation of a patient’s medical condition. Then, remarks are made regarding the patient’s awareness and attitude. At this point, others may offer observations about the patient’s home situation, including family dynamics. A home health aide or other team member may suggest that a patient needs special equipment like an adjustable bed or chair. Comments can come from a chaplain, a social worker or an administrator. This information is confidential. It is shared only among hospice staff members.
If a medical staff member may mention a particular issue regarding a patient, another Hope Hospice team member may offer insight that can help resolve that issue. Sharing simple remarks about a patient’s personal likes and dislikes can help other staff members be more productive in their work with a patient. A mention of friction between particular family members can help hospice staff minimize the effects of that friction. Information that is freely shared among hospice staff helps build the team spirit and helps make our work with patients more efficient.
The weekly staff meeting at Hope Hospice allows personnel to get their questions answered by hospice leaders and administrators. The meeting lets staff get to know one another. It’s an important way to make sure that our Hope Hospice staff is not just a collection of employees but instead… a real team!