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Hospice Care Team

Hospice workers have what is known as a “hospice heart.” Hospice care isn’t just a job for us – it’s a calling. The people called to this profession are caring, empathetic advocates for patients and their families. We are blessed and humbled to be part of each patient’s journey and treat them with the highest respect.

Amedisys hospice care sets the gold standard in health care for helping people die peacefully and comfortably when facing terminal illness or a life-limiting injury. Patients receive high-quality, compassionate care from a diverse team of professionals that includes a physician, nurse, social worker, chaplain, bereavement counselor, hospice aide and volunteers.

At Amedisys, every patient receives a personalized care plan that is based on their goals, needs and desires. Our hospice clinicians will ask what really matters to the patient and family, and those items will be included in their individual plan of care. Care plans may include medical care, pain and symptom management, and emotional and spiritual support. We also support families and caregivers, so they can give their aging parent or loved one the best quality of life possible as they near the end of their life.

The hospice team is specially trained to bring comfort and dignity to every patient’s end-of-life care. Hospice team members schedule regular visits and are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long.

Hospice Care Team

Get to know the members of the hospice care team:

Hospice Medical Director

The medical director leads the hospice care team. He or she can work with the patient’s preferred provider and monitor the progression of the patient’s illness.

Services They May Provide:

  • Develops, in collaboration with the hospice care team, a comprehensive plan to meet each patient’s specific needs
  • Consults with physicians and other health care providers regarding hospice care
  • Certifies terminal prognosis as part of the hospice eligibility process
  • Provides 24/7 medical on-call services
  • Prescribes medication as needed
  • Supports the hospice care team to ensure the highest standards of care

Typical Credentials:

  • Medical degree from an accredited program
  • License to practice medicine
  • CPR certification

Hospice Nurse

Hospice nurses play a vital role on the hospice care team. Hospice care nurses have specialized training in end-of-life care and pain and symptom management. They provide hands-on care for the patient as well as guidance, education and support for families and caregivers.

Services They May Provide:

  • Evaluates patient and family needs
  • Coordinates the plan of care with the hospice care team
  • Provides education for patients and their loved ones
  • Administers medication and orders specialized equipment as needed
  • Provides wound care and other medical services
  • Monitors the patient’s health, symptoms and vital signs
  • Detects and addresses early symptoms that could lead to hospitalization

Typical Credentials: 

Registered Nurse
  • Diploma from an approved nursing program or four-year Bachelor of Science in nursing
  • Licensure after passing the National Council Licensure Examination
  • CPR certification
Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • Diploma or certificate from an accredited, state-approved program
  • Licensure after passing the National Council Licensure Examination
  • CPR certification

Hospice Aide

Hospice aides are the heart of home hospice care. They build warm relationships with patients and families, bringing them personal care, comfort and emotional support.

Services They May Provide:

  • Assists with personal care such as bathing, dressing and eating
  • Repositions and assists with transferring patients
  • Provides companionship and support
  • Recognizes and communicates changes in health status to the hospice care team

Typical Credentials:

  • 75 hours of training
  • Home health agency competency program
  • Direct patient care experience
  • CPR certification
  • High school diploma

Hospice Social Worker

The best possible hospice care requires more than medical care. Hospice social workers provide emotional support for patients and families. They are also experts in handling logistics such as funeral planning and working with insurance companies, so patients and families can focus on spending time together during end-of-life care.

Services They May Provide:

  • Provides counseling and emotional support to patients and families
  • Teaches coping skills and strategies for managing emotional distress
  • Assists with end-of-life planning and insurance paperwork
  • Makes referrals to community resources
  • Helps families with arrangements, paperwork and counseling after their loved one dies

Typical Credentials: 

  • Bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in social work
  • Licensure as required by state law

Spiritual Counselor

Treating the whole person – body, mind and spirit – includes helping to meet the spiritual needs of the patient and family. Hospice chaplains honor the values and beliefs that matter most to the patient.

Services They May Provide:

  • Assesses the spiritual needs of patients and families
  • Provides counseling and bereavement support
  • Consults with community clergy

Typical Credentials: 

  • Bachelor’s degree or master's degree in theology, divinity or pastoral studies

Bereavement Counselor

One of the most important services we provide is bereavement support for families and loved ones. Bereavement counselors help people work through grief and loss for up to 13 months after the loss of a loved one.

Services They May Provide:

  • Provides individual and group counseling
  • Educates families about grief and loss
  • Creates a safe, supportive environment for sharing feelings
  • Helps families adapt to loss in a healthy way

Typical Credentials:

  • Bachelor's degree in social work, psychology, counseling or a related field
  • Licensure as required by state law

Hospice Volunteer

Hospice volunteers give their time and talents to brighten the days of patients and their loved ones. Volunteers are specially trained to help with a variety of hospice services, from providing companionship to supporting the hospice care team.

Types of Services They May Provide:

  • Visits and does activities with patients, from listening and reading to running errands
  • Provides breaks for caregivers
  • Offers the family support at the time of death and during bereavement

Typical Credentials:

  • Volunteer training from the hospice care agency

The hospice care team provides hospice services based on your individual plan of care and needs. Not all services are needed for every patient.

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