What Do Hospice Nurses Do?

Are you considering a career in the nursing field? If you have a passion for providing emotional support and empowering caregivers with knowledge, hospice nursing could be a great career choice for you. What do hospice nurses do? Simply put, hospice nurses help patients with terminal illnesses live out the rest of their days comfortably, but there’s much more to the story.

Provide Education, Care, and Comfort

As a hospice nurse, your job will consist of more than just looking after patients. You’ll need to provide education, care, and comfort. The patient receiving care might require new medications, medical equipment, and dietary needs, so you’ll need to brief the patient’s family and other care team members on how to properly help the patient. Hospice nurses also provide comfort care for the management of pain and symptoms. In addition to providing support for physical needs, they also help with emotional, social, psychological, and spiritual needs, and give guidance to caregivers. Hospice nurses can even offer grief counseling to the patient’s loved ones.

Different Hospice Nurses Play Different Roles

Whether you choose to work as a hospice nurse in a patient’s home, an assisted living facility, or a hospital, you won’t be the only nurse on the patient’s side. You’ll be a part of a whole team of professionals united to help the patient through every stage. Here’s a look at a few different types of hospice nurses and what they do:

  • Intake Admission Nurse: This nurse will be the first person to work with the patient within the hospice process. Intake nurses collaborate with the patient, their family, and doctors to determine if it is time for hospice care by reviewing medical charts and learning about the situation. This person will help coordinate between different family members and medical professionals to make a payment plan and daily schedule, including how often the patient would like visits.
  • Case Manager Nurse: After the intake admission nurse creates the care plan, a case manager nurse implements and manages the plan. He or she will assess the patient’s needs and fill the physician’s orders for medication and equipment. The case manager determines which tasks family members can help with, and which tasks will require outside help. This nurse will make frequent visits and train willing family members on taking care of their loved one and how to know when it is time to call for help. In most situations, the patient will have the same case manager nurse throughout the entire span of hospice care.
  • Visit Nurse: During hospice care, patients often need help when their case manager nurses are off duty. Luckily, an on-call visit nurse can stop by. Visit nurses also help with routine care, like wound care.
  • Triage Nurse: Occasionally, a caregiver might have a quick question that doesn’t require a visit, like how much medicine they should give their loved one. A triage nurse is only a phone call away, and he or she can help the caregiver talk through the situation over the phone and schedule a visit from a physician or the case manager nurse if needed.


What do hospice nurses do? They bring tremendous comfort to an individual living with a terminal condition and to that person’s family. At Phoenix Home Care & Hospice, we understand the value of quality. We work diligently to deliver excellent, client-focused home care services, and we need a top-quality team to get the job done. That’s why we strive to provide meaningful opportunities to our hospice nurses. An equal opportunity employer with locations in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Illinois, we delight in seeing our employees realize their full potential. If you are searching for a home health care position, visit our career page today.

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