Teaching the Community about the Importance of Hospice Care
Authors: Hayley Thomas and Amy Steverson
Faculty Supervisor: Maryanne Sandberg, Ed.D., RN
After interviewing Karri Starling with Heartland Hospice, we discovered many people in the community do not fully understand the full benefits of hospice. Many assume that hospice is brought in the very last days of life. We want to educate the community that hospice is not just for cancer patients; any patient with life-limiting illness will benefit from hospice services. We also wanted to stress the importance of receiving hospice services earlier rather than later. After researching hospice and palliative care, a nursing diagnosis of knowledge deficit related to lack of information of hospice care was used. Short term goals are to educate the community and patients about hospice care and what services are available. Long term goals are that eligible patients will be educated and referred sooner to receive the full benefit of hospice services. We developed a brochure to educate the community on the benefits of using hospice services early, not just in the very last days. The hopes of this project were to educate the community and patients on being able to improve their quality of life when they are suffering from a life-limiting illness. As a nurse, this service-learning project, allows us to better educate our patients.