Category Archives: hopsice employees

Hope Hospice Angels? Not Exactly, But…


Hospice personnel have frequently been referred to as “angels.”

By certain definitions, that’s an accurate term. “A person having qualities generally attributed to an angel, (such) as… kindliness.” “A person who…acts as if sent by God.” “Someone who is very good or kind.” “A person of exemplary conduct or virtue.”

Numerous survivors of hospice patients have written letters to us at Hope Hospice describing our staff members as angels. We are not the only hospice to receive such high praise. Some hospices around the U.S. and the world have even gone so far as to include the word “angel” in their hospice name.

While angels depicted on TV and in movies (such as Clarence in It’s A Wonderful Life and Jonathan Smith on Highway To Heaven) have a direct line to heaven and God, our team members cannot make that claim. But our employees and volunteers have served patients and family members with similar dedication and determination to do things the right way. When circumstances dictate a need, our team members go above and beyond to make sure things are taken care of, in the patient’s best interests.

The country music group Alabama sang a song called Angels Among Us, describing angel-like behavior by fellow humans along the path of life. But the chorus speaks of angels sent from “somewhere up above.” About those angels, they sing: “They come to you and me, in our darkest hours… To show us how to live, to teach us how to give, to guide us with the light of love.”

Our Hope Hospice “angels” are not from somewhere up above. They are all mortal, from here on earth. But the level of compassion and care that’s delivered daily to our patients and their family members is exceptional. And for that we are proud.

For information about hospice care in metro St. Louis, please call us at Hope Hospice at any time at 314-984-9800

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An Appreciation of Hospice Nurses

Can we ever say enough about how much our nurses and home health aides provide to our patients and their families?

Theirs is a job that can be rewarding and fulfilling in many ways, but can also be stressful and exhausting. Involving one’s self in the lives of patients and family members is a necessary element of hospice nursing. Yet, at the same time, a hospice nurse must maintain a professional demeanor.

Hospice nurses have the authority to make important decisions regarding a patient’s treatment and welfare. But each hospice nurse is also part of a collaborative team. A significant part of a hospice nurse’s job is sharing information about each patient with other hospice team members, not only during weekly meetings but also by filling out appropriate paperwork.

In addition to taking care of patients, hospice nurses also work closely with family members. Acknowledging cultural differences, monitoring internal family dynamics and respecting family members’ struggles to accept their loved one’s death are major parts of a hospice nurse’s work. For many hospice patients, the main caregiver is a family member. It is of utmost importance that a hospice nurse be able to communicate clearly with all caregivers.

Because a hospice nurse generally works with several patients, time management is a serious concern. A routine patient visit can reveal issues that need to be addressed immediately. Schedules must be adjusted on short notice. Workdays are often extended by several hours.

At Hope Hospice, we know that it takes a special individual to be a good hospice nurse. In addition to top-notch basic nursing skills, a hospice nurse must possess good people skills. He or she must have compassion for the patient and the patient’s family and other loved ones. But the nurse must also be able to be direct and honest when necessary.

It is a tough and demanding job. Some hospice nurses suffer from burnout. Others may experience a condition known as “compassion fatigue.” But with strong support from other hospice team members, including hospice leadership, being a hospice nurse can be a personally gratifying experience.

At Hope Hospice, we value our nurses and respect the dedication they put into their work.







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.