Hospice is a time for compassion and an empathetic ear, says Brandie Williams, RN, admissions nurse for Frontier Hospice.

Human nature involves the dread of human life, but it is also something that should be celebrated, said Brandie Williams, RN, admissions nurse for Frontier Hospice, located in Oklahoma City. She has been doing hospice work for nearly 14 years.
“The thing about hospice nurses — I feel like we are all empathetic and caring,” Williams said.
Hospice nurses respond during what is perhaps the most vulnerable time of life. There is no rush with pain medicine and the typical patient care that patients have been accustomed to in life. Hospice is different.
“Hospice is not rushed. We get to go in and talk to people and build relationships,” she said. “That’s the whole thing about hospice nursing. I feel like it is one of the last true forms of nursing.”
“You definitely need a good solid foundation with your emotions,” Williams said of hospice care. “These people become family to you, so you must be able to kind of switch it on and off almost, because if you don’t, it can take over you. So, you’ve got to be really good to separate, but also be empathetic and care for these patients, and be able to educate and talk to the families and explain what’s going on. If you have a nurse come in and they’re not educating, then you don’t know what to expect.”
Hospice nurses need to be comfortable in talking to people. They must be knowledgeable and not shy, Williams said. There are different phases of the end of life and questions of pain or anxiety.
“You have to be thorough with your assessments. Otherwise, is that patient going to get the best care that they deserve,” Williams said.
It is this standard of nursing care that is celebrated by National Nurse Month because at times it seems there is not enough time in the day for nurses to accomplish everything they want to do with people. Williams hopes more people hear the calling to become a nurse.
Nursing is not a profession to attain if you want to be rich, she said.
“You’ve really got to know that you want to help people,” Williams said.
Frontier Hospice loves their nurses, and that is a celebration within itself.
“Even though it is corporate ran, it still feels like a small family,” Williams said.
“Here, we do have personal relationships outside of work. We do feel like we are accepted, and we are loved. We’re listened to.
As for brand new nurses coming out in the field — it’s hard, but you’ve got to find something that you love. And, if you start out with something and you don’t love it, move on to something else,” Williams said.
For more information about Frontier Hospice visit: www.frontierhospice.com.