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The Infinite Care of a Hospice Nurse

Posted by Colleen O’Keefe, RN Case Manager

The Infinite Care of a Hospice Nurse

It doesn't seem possible that I have been with Midwest CareCenter for nearly 10 years. The service area, team members, pharmacies, DME companies and some staff have changed over the years, but one thing has remained constant—our commitment as nursing professionals to stay educated and to provide quality, compassionate care to our patients, families and communities.

My core values—work hard, care deeply and listen intently—translate both personally and professionally. Nurses play a key role in coordinating patient care, promoting comfort and quality of life, educating patients and families and instilling confidence in those we serve. Patients and families come to us from places of great vulnerability. They are often discouraged and frustrated by their prior experience with the conventional medical model, which often forgets that the patient is a person who had a vital, interesting life before illness limited his or her physical or mental function.

Nurses care, take time to listen and honor their patients' wishes and strive to walk beside
patients while remembering it's their journey. Recently, a patient's daughter said to me, "I don't know what I would have done without you guys; you were great. You listened to me, you trusted that I knew my mom, offered ideas and support and didn't impose your views on our family. I knew what to do." This particular family received services from all of the possible disciplines and, over a short time, grew to trust us with their mother's care.

Hospice nurses are trusted medical professionals not only because of their individual
discipline expertise, but because of their understanding and respect for the team process and patient-centered care.

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