Welcome to House of Light, a blog produced and managed by the staff of Casa de la Luz Hospice. Casa de la Luz ("house of light" in Spanish) is a locally owned and operated hospice, serving the city and surrounding communities of Tucson, Arizona. Through this blog, we hope to offer education, information, and support about caregiving and hospice care to terminally ill patients and their loved ones. For more information, visit the contact us page.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hospice Care Team: The Role of Your Nurse and CNA

As a Casa de la Luz Hospice patient, you will be assigned an RN Case Manager and a Certified Nursing Assistant. They will help care for you during your end of life journey. Here is what you can expect from your RN case manager and your certified nursing assistant (also referred to as CNA or home health aide).

The role of the case manager is to assess and manage a patient’s care needs. He/she is a registered nurse who acts as the eyes and ears of the hospice physician or attending physician. He/she works to treat distressing symptoms and improve the patient’s comfort. Our case managers have strong assessment skills, are critical thinkers, and have compassion and empathy for our patients and their loved ones. The case manager will work with the rest of the hospice team to fulfill yours or your loved one’s care needs at the end of life.

The RN case manager is also responsible for educating the patient, the patient’s loved ones, and the patient’s primary caregiver(s) on the signs and symptoms of the dying process. He/she will maintain communication with the loved ones and caregivers about the patient’s status and discuss any changes in the patient’s health. They are also responsible for determining the effectiveness of the prescribed medications for symptom management. The RN will also develop a plan of care, based on the patient’s needs, for the home health aide to follow.

Casa de la Luz employs certified nursing assistants to provide personal care to our patients. Personal care can include bathing, back rubs, oral hygiene, shampoos, dressing, assisting with transfers, skin care, and changing bed linens. The CNA may also feed the client and offer companionship. Our nursing assistants report on a patient’s condition, including significant changes, to the case manager. Patients often feel more at ease with the home health aide than other members of the hospice team.

Our hospice staff is here to guide you and support you through the end of life journey. We strive to work with our patients and their loved ones to ensure you are comforted and supported at this time of life. 

For Tucson residents, if you or someone you love is facing the end of life and could use the support of hospice services, call Casa de la Luz at 520-544-9890. For individuals seeking hospice care outside of Pima County, visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s website to search for providers in your area.

by Richelle Nixon, RN, CNA Supervisor

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