Hospice Nurse - Case Manager:
A case manager hospice nurse is responsible for assessing and managing a patient's care. Only one case manager nurse is assigned to each patient to foster a trusting relationship and for continuity of care.
A hospice case manager nurse is a Registered Nurse who must be comfortable working independently. She is the eyes and ears for the hospice physician and likewise must posses expert assessment skills. She is compassionate and a critical thinker.
Hospice nurses have a unique opportunity to share in a patients last moments. They must be compassionate and empathetic.
Hospice Nurse - Intake or Admission Nurse:
The hospice intake, or admission, nurse is often the first hospice personnel to visit a patient. They spend a lot of time with patients and their caregivers explaining this hospice philosophy and developing a plan of care. They are responsible for assessing a patients need and readiness for hospice and consults with the hospice physician to accept the patient into hospice care.
The intake nurse does a complete assessment of the patient and with the direction of the physician orders medications and equipment needed. They also begin patient and caregiver education.
Hospice Nurse - Visit Nurse:
A hospice visit nurse is one who does not have any case management responsibilities but supplements the care of the case managers. Visit nurses are often licensed nurses (LVNs or LPNs). They typically visit patients with immediate needs whose case manager cannot visit promptly. They may also be responsible for following up on routine care that the case manager has implemented, such as wound care.
Hospice agencies have visit nurses on-call after hours to visit patients with urgent needs and to attend deaths.
Hospice Nurse - Triage Nurse:
The hospice triage nurse takes phone calls from patients or their caregivers and begins the process of assessment and treatment over the phone. They may give the patient/caregiver instructions for symptom management or medical treatment, consult with the hospice physician, and notify the case manager or visit nurse of a need for a visit.
Because the triage nurse cannot physically see the patient, he must have excellent communication skills to get necessary assessment information from the patient or caregiver. He should be a critical thinker and be able to prioritize efficiently.