Working as a hospice aide can sometimes be depressing as you have to look after the terminally ill. However, it is quite fulfilling on another level – making patients’ last few years or months easy for them by providing them with physical comfort and emotional support is rewarding.
Hospice aides may work in people’s homes or in dedicated hospices, depending on their individual employment setting. Typically, they provide personal services such as grooming, bathing and toileting, along with ensuring that patients are provided with a range of motion exercises charted out in their plans of care. They are also required to perform household services essential to health care at home, such as meal preparation, laundry and light housekeeping.
Hospice aides need to possess a high school diploma at the very least with a completed state approved nursing assistant training program in their pockets. Since hospice aides often have to handle emergency situations, possessing a little medical training helps immensely.
If you want to work as a hospice aide, you will need to be patient and kind as you might be dealing with elderly patients with dementia or other such diseases where it will be difficult to handle them. Additionally, you will need to be physically dexterous as you will be required to physically move patients from one place to another.
• Read and understand designated patient care plans and develop method of following them appropriately
• Provide personal services such as help with toileting, grooming and washing
• Observe patients’ conditions and ensure that any significant changes are communicated to the family and the presiding doctor immediately
• Take and record patients’ vitals such as pulse, temperature and blood pressure in patient log books
• Provide good body alignment and positioning by ensuring that bedridden patients are timely turned and that they air mattresses are in good working order
• Assist patients in and out of bed or chairs and encourage range of motion for non-ambulatory patients
• Plan and prepare nutritious meals based on each patient’s individual needs and assist them in partaking their meals
• Apply wraps and change dressings along with ensuring that patients take prescribed medicines on time
• Perform light housekeeping tasks such as cleaning, dusting and laundry
• Assist in-home physiotherapists by positioning patients as instructed to facilitate exercises
• Clean rooms and change linens and ensure that patient areas are kept sanitized at all times
• Provide perineal and incontinent care and ensure that patients’ oral hygiene is maintained