Nurses play an impactful role on our hospice and palliative care team

By Kim Scire, RN, KCH Team Lead
Published:  May 23, 2022

A nurse’s role on the care team

Being asked to provide insight into the role nursing plays in hospice and palliative care is a true delight for me. In all my years of nursing, I finally feel like I am doing what I am created to do.

Kim Scire, RN

Nurses have the opportunity to advocate and promote hospice and palliative care within various settings. At Kansas City Hospice (KCH) we are blessed to work alongside a wonderful interdisciplinary team to share patient and family perspectives and priorities needed at difficult times of serious illness and end of life.

One of my favorite quotes is from longtime hospice nurse and end-of-life educator, Barbara Karnes, “Just because you can’t heal the physical body doesn’t mean there isn’t healing to be done. We have the opportunity to heal the emotional, mental and spiritual parts of a person.”

Hospice does our best work, in the months before death, when families have time together to appreciate and honor their loved one’s wishes and have deep healing conversations. We are witnesses to this time that equals such love.

The best part of my day   

My favorite part of the work day is being in the field working alongside our amazing KCH team of social workers, chaplains, certified nurse assistants, volunteers, expressive arts and music therapists and the entire KCH organization. This is the only way I am able to carry out my day-to-day work to exemplify KCH guiding principles of compassion, enrichment, choices, expertise, respect, balance, stewardship and excellence.  I believe deeply in each one of these with my whole heart.

Being a nurse at KCH makes a difference in the lives of others…. I love being a part of this!

One of my most memorable stories is when our team was able to honor a 104 year old patient and her family’s wish to transfer her from her nursing facility home of many years to her loving granddaughter’s home due to the isolation and decline during Covid. That day, and the following two weeks before her passing, was filled with all the reasons I am a KCH nurse. As our mission statement reflects, we are able to bring expert care, peace of mind, comfort, guidance and hope to both the patients and families at such a vulnerable time. I am grateful everyday that as a nurse, I can help make a difference in the lives of others.

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