frequently asked questions We're here to answer any questions you may have

What is hospice?

Hospice is a type of care for people who are terminally ill. It focuses on pain relief and symptom management. Instead of trying to cure disease, hospice provides comfort and support for emotional or spiritual end-of-life issues. Hospice focuses on giving patients and their loved ones meaningful time together.

Who is hospice for?

Hospice is for someone with a terminal illness who can no longer benefit from treatment or has been given a prognosis of living six months or less. Hospice specializes in easing pain, discomfort, and distress on all levels.

When does hospice start?

Most patients and families who receive hospice care say they wish they had started sooner. Research shows that hospice can increase the quality of life, as well as how long a patient lives. One should consider hospice services when medical treatment can no longer cure their disease or the symptom burden outweighs the benefits of treatment.

Where do people go for hospice?

Hospice can be provided in a private home, a nursing facility, an assisted living center, a memory support center, or even a hospital.

Who pays for hospice?

Families have several options to pay for hospice care. Hospice is a benefit under Medicare and Medicaid and many private insurance companies. Learn more about paying for care.

What is the RN call center?

It is a call center trained to respond to your calls outside normal business hours staffed with AseraCare registered nurses, licensed in all states served. The call center is located at our office in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Give us a call at 1-888-868-1957.

How do I refer a patient?

Call us 24/7 at 1-888-868-1957 or fill out this form. After the initial hospice patient referral, an AseraCare team member will meet with the patient and caregiver to provide an overview of our programs and services.

When is a patient ready for hospice?

A patient might benefit from hospice care when the burden of treatment outweighs the benefits or the patient has had multiple hospitalizations over the last several months. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Where do patients receive hospice care?

Hospice care is provided wherever the patient calls home. Home could be at their home, an assisted living community, or a nursing home. Patients may also receive hospice services while in the hospital, if necessary.

Who is on the hospice team?

Hospice patients receive services from an interdisciplinary team, which may include a physician, registered nurse, hospice aide, social worker, spiritual care coordinator, bereavement coordinator, volunteer, and other healthcare professionals.

What are the greatest rewards working in hospice?

The greatest reward is watching the evolution of a family through the end-of-life journey. On day one, they struggle with a terminal diagnosis for their loved one, resistant to any comfort measures and any education about what happens at end of life. And then you watch them walk the path and see their minds and hearts change and grow in this process.

What specific training, certifications, or experience do nurses need to work in hospice?

For certifications, a valid nursing license is required in the state you want to work in.

What are the biggest challenges of being a Hospice RN?

One of the biggest challenges is to educate families in what pain looks like and reassurance that medication does not accelerate death. The second biggest struggle is educating people about normal end-of-life occurrences.

What skills help a nurse succeed in hospice work?

Despite patients on hospice being at the end of life, patients still require complicated care and registered nurses use their nursing skills daily. Often people consider hospice a slower-pace medical environment. In our experience we’ve found that is not the case.

What makes a good hospice nurse?

Compassion is so important to all of nursing, but it is especially key in hospice care. As a patient nears the end of life, a nurse’s compassion helps a patient feel comforted and affirms that his or her life has great value.

What is the job of Hospice RNCMs?

Hospice RN case managers evaluate a patient’s physical condition and develop a care plan that addresses any medical needs and social services. They also address the psychological needs of patients and their families through counseling and education efforts.

What would the on-call schedule look like? How many visits on average would I have each day?

Due to the structure and staffing of each office, the on-call rotation schedule varies, as well as the amount of visits per day.

Who is part of the hospice team?

The Hospice team in the field consists of the following team members: NPs, RNs, LPNs, CNAs, LMSWs, Spiritual Care Coordinators, Bereavement Coordinators, Volunteer Care Coordinators, volunteers.

What is orientation?

Each office does orientation slightly differently because it is geared to the needs of the individual office. The length of orientation is anywhere from two to six weeks.

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