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Is a Hospice Palliative Care Job Right For You?

Although most hospice care is provided in the clients home, hospice services  can also be provided in nursing and hospice care facilities.  It is estimated that up to 90% of all personal care in long term care settings is provided by certified nursing assistants. Yet, most staff receive little or no training in palliative care. 

For those who may be interested in obtaining a job as a hospice palliative care nursing assistant, they should receive their certification in this career path.  Educational certification for certified nursing assistants to work in hospice and palliative care is offer through an organization called national hospice and palliative care (nhpco.org).   Having the proper training and certification will help when it comes time to find a job. The NHPCO does require that CNAs meet certain criteria before they can become certified.

Caring for those with a terminal illness can be a difficult thing to cope with.  With training as a hospice palliative care assistant, you will be educated on the care that focuses on easing pain of the client and managing the symptoms. You will be trained with the education to provide the emotional care, psychological, and spiritual care to the client and the family.

As a member of hospice care team, the certified nursing assistant will help by ensuring that the client in their care is as comfortable as possible during this time. Clients who are immobile may have to be turned extra times, more so then every two hours, which is often recommended.  It can be difficult emotionally to provide care to those who you know are dying.

Grieving is a normal essential step for CNAs who are recovering from the loss of a client that they cared for.  There’s isn’t a right way or a wrong way to show grief.  Knowing that you provided the a great source of comfort for the client can be an effective way to cope with a death.

Hospice palliative care jobs can be very emotional and stressful for a certified nursing assistant.  There should be careful consideration when making a decision whether or not this is a career choice you should make.  Having a support system is great for those who may be dealing with similar situations. Support groups can you help you with the stresses and frustration of the job, as well as offer ideas on various ways to handle such challenges. 

Care giving for someone who is dying can be demanding, and it’s important for everyone that is involved, to take proper care of his or her needs.  Taking the time for oneself can be as important as the care you provide for others. 

There are several companies that hire certified nursing assistants to work for hospice palliative care jobs across the united states.  It all comes down to taking the time to do your research and locating a company that you wish to work for and start applying for their open positions.