Friday, at the end of a full and stress-filled week, I learned that my undergraduate college was permanently closing its doors. A not-so-great week for me just plummeted into a steady river of tears, built up over the challenges of self-employment, Coronavirus, children driving cross-country, social distancing, keeping my elderly parents safe from the virus, the dog’s unexpected surgery, and other extraneous factors.
The struggle for us as hospice professionals is to work within the context of the family dynamic. We are visitors in their home, and we are there to ease the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain of the unit of care – the patient, and the caregivers.
know what you are thinking . . . because I have been there before - I. Don't. Have. Time. For. This. As regulations change, the expectations for hospice professionals to manage their time, asses the patient for needs, provide emotional support, and document the visit WITH supporting evidence of hospice appropriateness places a lot of pressure and demands on you.
By being streamlined and prepared in your patient education materials, you have the tools you need to teach from and to share with patients and families. This streamlined presentation of information, from admission through bereavement, allows you to be consistent in your education and support, as well as be prepared for the CAHPS Hospice Survey.
In a service related industry, your raw materials are your professionals in the field. Your raw materials will be strong and serve your mission well for years to come. Your investment should always be in them. Different solutions work for different teams, but the moral of the story here is this: don't ever lose sight of the fact that the happier your team is, the better their care will be.