Pay Scale for Nurses: Breaking Down Hospice Pay and Care

pay scale for nursesAs a CNA or nurse, you have the opportunity to work in many different areas of the medical field. One such field, hospice care, involves comfort or palliative care that is given to patients who suffer from terminal illness and don’t have long before they pass away. This type of care can be completed in the home of a patient, with the help of their family, or may be given in a facility that is dedicated to hospice care.

Working in hospice allows you to make a difference in the lives of patients who may only have days or weeks left to live.

Nurse and Health Care Assistant: Hospice Job Description

If you’re a nurse working in a hospice care setting, you’ll be responsible for providing for any health-related needs your patients have. This might involve administering medication, using medical equipment, and monitoring the condition of your patient’s health on a regular basis.

Beyond this, though, you’ll also be responsible for keeping the family and the patient informed on their health status. In the home, you may not always be around, and this may mean you’ll need to teach the family members what signs to look for if something is wrong, and when to call for help.

If you decide to go into hospice care after CNA training, your job will entail taking care of the patient’s non-medical needs. You’ll provide personal care often. This can involve:

  • Changing bedding
  • Bathing patients
  • Helping patients change clothes
  • Assisting with hygienic routines, like washing hair, keeping dressings clean, and brushing teeth

As a health care assistant, you’ll also be responsible for helping the patient with their nutritional needs. You’ll be responsible for ensuring the patient stays hydrated and that they eat. This may be difficult, as many treatments and medications make it hard for terminally ill patients to eat. You may have to offer food in small amounts, several times a day, depending on the care plan outlined by your nursing.

In most settings, anything having to do with medications falls out of a health care assistant’s scope of practice. In hospice care, though, you may have to have additional certification so you can maintain breathing and eating tubes, clean port lines, supervise the taking of prescriptions, and starting IV fluids when needed.

You’ll also work closely with family and visitors, educating them on how they should interact with the patient to avoid tiring the patient out or contributing to infections.

Pay Scale for Nurses: What to Expect as a Nurse or CNA

It takes a special person to be able to work as a health care assistant or nurse in the hospice setting. Going into the job, you know that each patient you care for is going to die, and many health care workers find this too stressful.

If you decide this is the right opportunity for you, you can earn a steady paycheck from it. According to Payscale.com, a hospice nurse case manager can earn about $28.00 an hour, while a hospice health care assistant can earn an average of $12.24 an hour.

Does making the final days of a person’s life more comfortable and pleasurable appeal to you? Hospice care may be the job for you.

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