Hospice nurses

by David S. Wiley, President & CEO of Kansas City Hospice

Hospice nurses have extraordinary skills and extraordinary hearts!

Kansas City Hospice is blessed to have an incredible team of caregivers. Each May we recognize the nurses who are often at the forefront of hospice care. If the job were only symptom management, hospice nurses would still stand out for their extraordinary skills. But, the heart of a hospice nurse is just as important as their education and experience. Just as an obstetrics nurse ushers in a life, a hospice nurse often ushers the end of life.

Kansas City HospiceOur nurses work with each patient and family to advocate for them, make sure everyone is treated with dignity, respect their personal beliefs, and honor their choices. They have a sacred duty.

And sometimes their duty is to do nothing at all. When blood pressure is taken, meds are administered, dressings are changed, and their patient is comfortable — that’s when nurses often sit by a patient’s side, hold their hand, look them in the eye, share stories about growing up, and generally just be there for them. That’s what the families will remember.

Hospice nurses are called to provide a meaningful connection and ease the transition from life to death. They assist the family in accepting what lies ahead. Our nurses help those family members make many difficult decisions that will benefit the patient in their last weeks or months. They work daily to preserve the quality of life.

“How are you doing?”

I know that when my family felt confused, scared and overwhelmed, our hospice nurse helped us understand the treatments and timelines. One key conversation from our hospice nurse that resonates with me all these years later is a simple question “how are you doing?.” The compassion of the question was so important at that very moment.

What makes their jobs even more challenging is that sometimes patient’s wishes aren’t in accordance with the family’s wishes. They must maintain a focus on the patient’s preferences and respecting their autonomy while at the same time supporting the family as they navigate a process they’ve likely never been through before.

My wish would be to have people choose hospice sooner, to let our amazing nurses prepare the way ahead, take over the most difficult tasks, and give families the chance to just be together. Thank you to all of our amazing nurses, along with the many other caregivers who make it such a joy for me to work alongside you.

All my best,

About Us

The mission of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care is to bring expert care, peace of mind, comfort, guidance, and hope to people who are affected by life-limiting illness or by grief. Our vision is that each person in our community is valued from life through death and each family is supported in their grief.

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