The unsung heroes in the field of medicine, perhaps, are the nursing staff. They perform numerous duties, some of which may not fall into their domain. From keeping a constant check and strong follow-up on patients to keep track of their medical records to dispensing their medication – nurses can do it all and a lot more.
Most importantly, nurses make sure patients get through what may be the most troublesome phase of their life. They act as motivators, supporters, and a friend in need. Only the loved ones of families know exactly how crucial the role of a nurse is in the physical and mental recovery of a patient.
Palliative care nurses are amongst the most robust healthcare workers out there. Being a hospice nurse requires patience, calmness, and nurses to be mentally strong, as it is a remarkably draining job. Outlined below are some of the many positive roles of nurses working in the end-of-life care department.
Do you have what it takes to be a hospice nurse?
A hospice once said, “Palliative Care is about putting life into a patient’s days, not days into their lives.” Patients on their death bed are amongst some of the most hopeless people in the world. Even telling a patient that they have almost no chance of living takes guts. These nurses need to be in the right headspace all the time because only then can they help patients that need reassurance and comfort.
These nurses invest a lot of time in understanding terminal patients and the kind of care they need. Some nurses opt out of this responsibility because they can’t cope with the physical and mental onslaught. But when nurses do commit, they’re one of the most respected in the field of nursing.
So understanding palliative care requires experience and education. The good thing about acquiring education is that most institutions offer online degrees, which helps save time and resources, making it the ideal choice for an aspiring nurse to earn an online MSN degree to understand nursing for the terminally ill thoroughly.
Communicating like a pro
Communication with the elderly is perhaps the most challenging part of being a hospice nurse. However, if you ever see a hospice nurse talking or listening to an elderly patient, you’d be shocked.
That’s because these nurses are so good at their jobs that they make their laborious jobs look easy. However, nurses are required to be very calm and patient when it comes to this. That’s because this is a vital skill necessary for their jobs and, it helps them form a bond with their patients.
Nurses are confided in by most patients; some even put them before their immediate family. Patients have a hard time communicating with their loved ones and often feel uncomfortable telling them things.
That is why they choose to open up to nurses. They should be able to help patients vent out and express their feelings when need be. They do so efficiently and prove their worth.
Dealing with pain amongst patients
Pain is something very well-known amongst patients, be it young or old. Regardless of the age bracket, they look after, nurses must know how to deal with pain of all sorts. To reduce pain amongst aged patients, nurses may try out a few different maneuverings to help lower or, better yet, get rid of the pain.
Nurses may start by offering things that may bring them comfort and joy. In worst-case scenarios, nurses may administer painkillers that have been prescribed to the patients by their respective physicians. However, in lighter circumstances, nurses may give old patients a backrub or apply lotion on the part of their bodies that itch.
Most importantly, the patient must feel comfortable, and their dignity should be left intact. To one’s surprise, nurses tend to the needs of patients quite well.
Education and empathy go hand in hand.
Nurses, perhaps, understand the situation of terminally ill patients better than the family of the patient. Mainly because of their experience, nurses tend to do well with these patients. Nurses are better able to guide the families of patients as they’re completely helpless in most cases.
Doing so increases their love and respect for you, and in turn, they get closer to their loved ones without compromising on a lot. Only if you’re a qualified individual can you help out families be better supporters and better caretakers.
Nurses are known to have ample knowledge. Hence, they can guide families better than anyone else, except for the doctor, of course. Doing all this goes a long way, and nurses get showered with countless blessings.
Turning destructive criticism into positive criticism
Perhaps the most ignored aspect is the ability of nurses to turn all sorts of feedback into positive feedback. Doing so requires patience and calm as not everybody can take a scolding or harsh treatment.
It takes a very calm mind to do so, and nurses do it like it’s a piece of cake. Keeping this in mind, we should do our best and not worsen these already overburdened workers.
Hospice nurses are angels in disguise. However, not every person has the temperament to be one. Being a nurse requires utmost dedication, seriousness, and patience.
The roles mentioned above should give you an idea of how big of a role these nurses play in caring for terminal patients. They are undoubtedly the unsung heroes of the healthcare industry!