Nurses have been recognized as a special breed since the days of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, whose birthday on May 12 marks the end of National Nurses Week (May 6 – 12). Many nurses view their profession as a calling, not just a job.
“Hospice nurses often feel that,” says Robin Viklund, RN, BSN, CHPN, director of nursing and home health aides at Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western CT. “When treatment or cure is no longer an option, we provide comfort care to patients and their loved ones.”
Hospice care enhances comfort and improves the quality of an individual’s life during the last phase of life. There is a misperception that hospice is deathbed care, or even hastens death, but nothing is further from the truth, according to Viklund. “As hospice nurses, our goal is to help patients live every day to its fullest, as defined by the patient,” she says. “It’s more about living than dying.”
Viklund began her nursing career as a maternal-child nurse, and says this is not unusual among hospice nurses. “Other case managers at Regional Hospice and Home Care were previously labor and delivery nurses as well,” she says. “Being a hospice nurse can be stressful and sad sometimes. But it is an honor to be there for the patient and the family, and to provide care at the end of life without invasive or uncomfortable procedures.”
Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western CT is honored to have an extraordinary team of professionals, including the nurses who are case managers, intake coordinators, liaisons and educators. We’re proud of the quality of care we provide and appreciate the nurses who help make it possible.