What is a Hospice Case Manager?
Hospice case managers are an important part of the healthcare team for patients who are receiving end-of-life care. The hospice nurse case manager is a registered nurse (RN) who oversees the care of these patients. These nurses have undergone special training in a variety of topics, including pain management, nutrition, and symptom management.
What Does an RN Hospice Case Manager Do?
Hospice case managers work closely with physicians to improve patient comfort and treat distressing symptoms. These nurses offer emotional and practical support to patients, family members, and caregivers. They also teach patients and family members to recognize potential symptoms.
Hospice case manager responsibilities include:
- Meeting with patients and families regularly to monitor the patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs
- Assessing patients’ medical and social histories to help develop care plans that meet their needs
- Working with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to coordinate treatment and care for hospice patients
- Arranging for services, such as home health aides and nurses, and coordinating these services to provide patients with the care they need in a timely and comforting manner
- Maintaining records of patient care plans, medication administration, doctor orders, and other essential information about the patient
- Facilitates communication between patients, families, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals
- Coordinating with insurance companies to ensure patients get the coverage for the care they receive
- Recommending treatment and equipment that could improve the patient’s quality of life
Why is Having a Registered Nurse Case Manager Important?
It is important that a case manager be a registered nurse in that RNs have undergone the training that helps them understand the physiological processes and symptoms the patient experiences at the end of life. RNs have the training and expertise to help patients manage the many medications hospice patients often take. Registered nurses are also comfortable with providing end-of-life care with compassion.
Additionally, RNs have the time management skills required to be where they need to be when they need to be there. The health and well-being of a hospice patient may depend on a case manager, and RNs involved with hospice and palliative care case management take this responsibility seriously.
Benefits of a Registered Nurse Case Manager in Hospice
End of life is a difficult time for patients and families, and having a registered nurse case manager can help ease the emotional, physical, and spiritual burden they face. Patients and families can turn to registered nurse case managers in hospice to:
- Answer questions
- Administer medications
- Secure access to treatments and equipment as needed
- Maintain accurate records
- Improve communication between the patient, family, and healthcare providers
- Act as an advocate
- Provide comfort and compassion
For more information on the importance of a hospice nurse case manager, consult with the compassionate hospice professionals at Unique Hospice.