Advanced Practice Nurses in Hospice Care
by Julie Findley, RN with Hospice of the Western Reserve
While on your healthcare journey with Hospice of the Western Reserve, you will undoubtedly meet with several team members from different healthcare disciplines or specialties. One of your team members may be an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN).
“Advanced Practice Registered Nurses” include four different types of Registered Nurses (RNs) who have advanced training, usually at the master’s or Doctoral level, beyond their training and experience as a Registered Nurse. At Hospice of the Western Reserve, you may encounter two types of APRNs: Certified Nurse Practitioners, which are most common, or Clinical Nurse Specialists. Our hospice medical team consists of physicians and several nurse practitioners who work collaboratively to provide you or your loved one with individualized care. While each nurse practitioner is board-certified, many of them also hold additional certifications in hospice care.
At Hospice of the Western Reserve, our Nurse Practitioners provide care in several different settings. You may have a Nurse Practitioner working with your home care team to provide optimum care throughout the course of your time on hospice. This includes providing daily medical team visits at our inpatient hospice units, answering calls from nurses caring for you or your loved one when an urgent medical need arises, or completing telehealth or in-person visits required by Medicare. Nurse Practitioners can accurately assess a person’s symptoms and overall health status, prescribe medications or treatments needed to provide care and comfort to our patients, help you and your loved ones understand your medical prognosis, and assist you and your loved ones in discussing your goals and wishes for your care.
In Ohio, Nurse Practitioners have a collaborative relationship with our physician colleagues. If we need to discuss a case with a physician or ask them to see a patient with a complicated situation, a physician from our team is always available to discuss cases and see a patient either via telehealth (for more urgent cases) or in person (depending on the physical location of physicians).
Hospice provides care for the whole patient and their family, including their bodies, minds, and their spirits. Our holistic approach is what makes hospice care so effective at treating families through sensitive and difficult times. Hospice Nurse Practitioners are an important part of this process, working alongside the rest of your team to expertly manage symptoms for you or your loved ones while on hospice care.