4 Palliative Care Jobs: Hospice Jobs For Nurses & Physicians
Hospice care provides patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of a life-threatening illness. It is an important part of end-of-life care, and, for many patients, it can provide comfort and peace. If you are considering a career in palliative and hospice care, there are many roles that nurses, physicians, and healthcare managers can assume. These positions offer excellent opportunities to help patients and their families during a difficult time.
In this article, we will discuss what it takes to be in this challenging yet highly rewarding career.
What Does Palliative Care Entail?
Before we get into the different healthcare roles, it is important to understand what palliative care means. Palliative care can be provided in either a patient’s home, a hospice center, or in a hospital. It provides comfort and relief from symptoms while also offering psychological, social, and spiritual support for both the patient and their family members.
Palliative care has many benefits and typically begins at the start of diagnosis. By helping patients reduce their discomfort and offering assistance to the family members, palliative care ensures that everyone involved receives the support they deserve.
Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care
These two terms are often used interchangeably as they are very closely related, but they differ slightly in terms of delivery. As mentioned, palliative care can begin the moment a patient is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, whereas hospice care is carried out after all possible forms of treatment have been exhausted, and it is clear that there is zero chance for survival. A patient can start under palliative care and later move to hospice care if there are no other options left.
If you are seeking palliative or hospice care jobs, there are several roles to consider as a physician or healthcare provider. We discuss each one below.
4 Essential Hospice and Palliative Care Roles
There are many roles within the palliative and hospice network. Here are four of the most essential.
Palliative and Hospice Physicians
As a physician, you may want to go beyond the typical hospital environment and consider palliative care jobs in either a clinical or hospice setting. There are many physicians working at the bedside of patients with terminal illnesses to ease pain and stress in the remainder of their days.
Hospice and palliative care physicians work with patients who have serious illnesses, are waiting out their final days or both. Care is delivered either by prescribing medications for pain, devising a medical care plan, or collaborating with the healthcare team to deliver the best possible experience for the patient.
Home hospice and palliative medicine physician jobs are available for those patients who need end-of-life care in the comfort of their homes or in private facilities. Such a setting gives the patient more independence and allows them to receive care alongside their family members.
Physicians who are palliative care certified have completed the necessary training to help provide expert services. These specialists are an important asset to hospice and palliative care teams, as they can offer more in-depth knowledge on best practices.
Average salary for physicians and surgeons in hospice and palliative care: $168,510 per year (home settings) and $173,100 per year (skilled nursing facilities)
Palliative and Hospice Nurses
There are many hospice and palliative care nursing opportunities out there for nurses with different levels of experience and educational backgrounds.
As a hospice or palliative care nurse, your role might focus on providing pain management, emotional support, or social support. You may also coordinate various aspects of a care plan, such as arranging for nurses and aides to take turns in caring for patients and making sure that all members of the team are aligned with shift or daily goals. You can find hospice and palliative care jobs at hospitals, home health agencies, private facilities, and more.
Average salary for registered nurses in hospice and palliative care: $63,810 per year (home settings) or $60,180 per year (skilled nursing facilities)
Hospice Case Managers
Case managers in hospice settings work closely with patients and their families to ensure they have the necessary resources available to them when they need it most.
Also typically referred to as a hospice social worker, the role entails coordinating physician palliative and hospice care consultations, referrals, or other services. Part of the job as liaison is to ensure that patients and their families are receiving benefits while making other outsourced palliative or hospice care services available, such as home health care — should they wish to.
Average salary for hospice case managers and social workers: $54,140 (home settings) and $46,470 (skilled nursing facilities)
Hospice Directors & Managers
The hospice leadership team is responsible for ensuring that all services are being delivered well and that the facility has all the supplies and tools it needs. The management team may include executive directors, palliative and hospice medicine leaders, and even hospice case managers.
A hospice director oversees the team’s patient caseloads to ensure that cases are being logged and delivered accurately. Directors also conduct quality improvement initiatives, oversee hospice care benefits, or develop hospice care treatment protocols.
The best hospice directors and managers have a palliative and hospice care background and have a strong understanding of pain and comfort medicine. They should be well-versed in care techniques and case management strategies. Above all, however, they must ensure that they are effectively carrying out their role as patient advocates.
Average salary for medical and health services managers in hospice care: $81,940 (home settings) and $79,420 (skilled nursing facilities)
Find a Rewarding Career in Palliative and Hospice Care Through Strelcheck Healthcare Search
If you are seeking a rewarding career in a palliative and hospice setting or are looking for skilled professionals to fill key roles for your hospital or care center, Strelcheck Healthcare Search can help. For over 30 years, we have connected hospitals, clinics, healthcare institutions, and private agencies with the best palliative and hospice physicians, medical executives, case managers, and nurses in the field.
Search for roles today to get started. You may also contact the Strelcheck Healthcare Search team to learn more about our recruiting services.