Hospice Care is Rewarding Work That Positively Impacts Lives
Working in hospice care is unlike working in most other healthcare settings. It is the most intimate type of care and support provided to patients and families living with a serious or life-limiting illness, many at the end of life. Managing people's pain and symptoms to ensure comfort, providing them emotional and spiritual care to address the needs of the whole person, and giving caregivers the education and support they need to provide care to loved ones and navigate healthcare decisions are at the core of the hospice philosophy.
Unlike many healthcare settings where clinicians move from patient to patient to serve as many as possible as quickly as possible, hospice patient interactions move at a much slower pace. It also uses a unique interdisciplinary team approach. Hospice care teams consist of a physician, nurse, certified nursing aide, social worker, chaplain, and often a volunteer. All work together to meet the unique needs of each patient and family.
With more than 90 percent of patients served in their homes or other settings they call home, including assisted living, skilled nursing facilities and hospitals, hospice workers' schedules allow for flexibility to best meet patients' needs. Once at the patient’s residence, hospice care team members spend about 45 minutes to an hour with patients and families, listening to concerns, answering questions, and providing care while assessing their condition and disease progression. The frequency of visits depends on the needs of the patient.
Spending this amount of time with patients and families allows team members to get to know their patients, their families, their pets, their life stories, and what is most important to them at this point in their lives. Patients and family members often speak of their hospice care team becoming like family as the bonds at this time of life grow quickly and deep.
While Lower Cape Fear LifeCare’s (LCFL) hospice and palliative care clinicians receive competitive pay; health, eye, dental, disability and life insurance; generous paid time off; matching retirement plan; tuition reimbursement and possible scholarships, many say it is the feeling of ending each day knowing that you truly made a difference in someone’s life that is the best benefit of all. They also enjoy the team aspect of working together to provide the best care possible for their patients and families.
“A bad day working in hospice is still better than the best day working anywhere else,” Maggie, LCFL CNA, said.
That same sentiment is echoed by numerous hospice physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains, by those working with home patients and those in Lower Cape Fear LifeCare’s three inpatient hospice care centers.
“It's a hard job, but it's the most rewarding job I've ever had,” Janet, LCFL social worker, said. “Being able to help people at that moment when they are suffering, and that you can ease their suffering, is an amazing gift.”
“People don't come to work for hospice for any other reason than they're passionate about it,” Janet continued. “Because you can't do this job unless you have passion for it. So, every team member is here because they love the work that we do. And you know, we've all been in jobs where people are just there for a paycheck. They check in, they check out. They're not engaged. People here are engaged. We want to do the right things for people. So, I think if you want to be surrounded by really like-minded people who are passionate about caring for people, then this is the right place to be.”
Nancy, a long-time LCFL nurse shared her thoughts as well.
“Every nurse says it, no matter what happens during the day when they get in their car at the end of the day,” Nancy, RN, said. “You made a difference to somebody. And I don't know any job that would offer that every single day for the last 15 years. You can always, at the end of the day, find something you did to make a difference.”
As a nonprofit, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare’s team members are mission-driven to provide the highest-quality care and support to the people in their community. That community may be in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, Pender, Onslow or Robeson counties in North Carolina; or Georgetown, Horry, or Marion counties in South Carolina.
The agency is well-known and respected in the region with a 43-year history of serving thousands upon thousands of patients and families. Most team members are exceptionally proud to work for a provider with such a positive reputation in the community.
Lower Cape Fear LifeCare is actively recruiting healthcare professionals to fill roles across its service area, working in its care centers and with patients served in residential settings. Ideal candidates are dedicated healthcare professionals who can manage their own schedules, are committed to providing the highest-quality care, enjoy the opportunity to get to know those they serve, like working as a part of a team, and understand and appreciate the hospice philosophy of care. The organization also offers a paid nurse aide training program that covers the cost of training and exams to those serious about starting a healthcare career in hospice and palliative care.
Those interested in giving their passion a purpose can visit LifeCareCareers.org to view current openings and apply online. If you want to talk to LCFL's recruiter, contact Jonathan Padgett, talent acquisition and engagement specialist, at [email protected] or call 910-796-8047.