Medical Director/Associate Medical Director
The Medical Director is an Illinois licensed physician responsible for overseeing the patient’s hospice care. The Medical Director reviews each patient’s Plan of Care to make sure their needs are being met in the best possible way. The Medical Director will make periodic home visits to assess the patient and update the Plan of Care as needs change.
All hospice nursing services are based on patient need and performed under a Plan of Care for that patient. All nurses are licensed professionals specifically trained to do hospice nursing. In addition, each Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is supervised by a Registered Nurse and is specifically trained to do hospice care.
Most Serenity Hospice and Home Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants are also board certified in Hospice and Palliative Care. A Hospice nurse is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist with any questions or needs.
Examples of the duties included in the nursing care include:
- Making regularly scheduled visits to care for patients
- Taking vital signs, and assessing skin condition
- Reviewing the medication schedule and refilling prescriptions, as needed
- Instructing caregivers on care to make the patient comfortable
A certified nursing assistant (CNA) will also visit on a regular schedule. The CNA will provide personal hygiene care, such as bathing, washing hair, brushing teeth, giving backrubs, providing skin care, and changing bed linens.
A hospice Social Worker is assigned to each patient and family for a psychological and social assessment. Where indicated, a proper referral is made to an appropriate service agency. The Social Worker documents any findings in the patient chart and makes follow-up visits as indicated. When appropriate, patient/family concerns are brought to the Interdisciplinary Team.
Examples of items social workers can assist families with are as follows:
- Assisting with caregiver options, when there is no primary caregiver, or the burden of care is too much for a caregiver
- Assisting with funeral arrangements
- Assisting Veterans to receive entitled benefits
- Assisting with medical research donations
The Bereavement Coordinator facilitates all the hospice bereavement services, including the monthly support group meetings for survivors and mailings to families and loved ones on a regular basis. The Coordinator works with the patients, families, and caregivers before and following the death. The Bereavement Coordinator is a community resource for any person in the service area who is experiencing grief, whether or not the loss was a Serenity Hospice and Home patient.
Volunteers from all walks of life do many things for patients and their families. They may simply listen, do light housework, cook, run errands, and provide general companionship. Creative individuals utilize their talents in many ways, including office work, fundraising, gardening, sewing, knitting/crocheting prayer shawls, etc. Some volunteers are certified professionals who donate their time and skill to benefit those in need, such as massage therapists, reflexologists, cosmetologists, etc. Direct Patient Volunteers receive 16 hours of instruction and additional education/information throughout their tenure as a volunteer. Volunteers are an integral part of the team.