Everyone believes they have a stressful job at some point in time or another, but stress is a relative term that’s largely dependent on the tolerance of the person and the nature of their work. Despite being a subjective idea, however, it can be said that some careers are invariably more stressful overall and none quite make the top of the list in such a way as hospice nursing careers do.
Hospice nurses operate in an environment that is defined by stress. Tending to terminal patients day after day, knowing the inevitable end that is rapidly approaching is a stressful prospect in and of itself, but it’s only the core in a many-layered cocoon of stress. Families trying to cope, medical situations that require absolute attention and long hours create a full gamut of stresses that are not easily escaped or dealt with, leading to a myriad of concerns for the hospice nurse.
Many people don’t often realize the hierarchy of medical professionals in different segments of the healthcare system. Knowing the difference between a physician, a nurse and a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in particular, is tremendously important to understanding the duties, responsibilities and abilities that a healthcare worker has. Nowhere is this more important than in a hospice environment.
Generally, hospice environments are staffed by registered nurses (RNs) and through their scope of experience and abilities, a nurse will be able to provide comfort to a terminally ill patient through the end of their life. A nurse will also have the medical knowledge and know-how to act in specific situations that may require action.
While a nurse might “run the show” so to speak, it doesn’t mean there’s not a need for other medical professionals. In fact, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are also tremendously helpful to have on staff or working part-time in a hospice environment!
People often take up careers in the healthcare field because they have an inherent desire to help people. What’s more rewarding than being there for someone who is experiencing hardship in their life and being able to see them through to recovery? There’s absolutely no feeling in the world that trumps it.
Hospice caregivers work closely with families and terminal individuals at all times, putting them closer than any other profession to the raw emotions that can come about when terminal patients face their impending passing. It’s a time when sentiments are high, negative emotions are encroaching and pain—both emotional and physical—need tending to.
Helping patients through tailored care and a comforting approach
For those who want to pursue a career in healthcare, the common options tend to revolve around certain positions, rather than certain focuses. It’s easy to say you want to be a CNA, but it’s not always as easy to say where you’d like your career as a CNA to take you, for example. The same can hold true for any healthcare position, which makes it important to consider all of the paths out there that might become available to you over the course of your education and certification process.
Every job comes with its praises and drawbacks, regardless of the position, industry or longevity of the career. For healthcare workers and hospice caregivers especially, the high and low points of a job are even more pronounced because the human element is a core aspect of day to day life. And, when you’re working alongside people who are sick, disabled, impaired or terminally ill, it can absolutely impact the caregiver on a level that’s not always accounted for when a job is considered outright.