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hospice care training
Published By Victoria Guskiewicz on March 02, 2017

Hospice Care Training for Caregivers

Hospice care is specifically designed to help patients to remain as comfortable as possible at their end of their life; it covers psychological, social and spiritual support on top of pain and symptom management. When a patient has the life expectancy of six months or less, quality of life should be prioritized. Brenda Forster, RN, Director of Nursing of Right at Home Boston and North, offers a monthly hospice care training in our Somerville, Salem and Haverhill offices for caregivers to equip them with hospices care skills.

Hospice Care Training Program

In conjunction with the Visiting Nurse Association of Middlesex East, we developed a hospice care training program in 2011. The four-hour course covers topics including:

  • How to assist patients through their end-of life journey
  • Death and dying
  • Basic self-awareness skills
  • Grief, empathy and bereavement
  • Documentation and communication skills

Hospice care emphasizes on providing care with compassion, preserving the dignity of patients, and advocating for the quality of life. Caregivers receive skills-based training on fall prevention, medication compliance, proper nutrition and hydration, hygiene and personal care, as well as respite care for family members.

Classes include presentations and training activities. Caregivers take part in role-plays and guided exercises throughout the program. Upon completion, a certification will be issued to recognize the graduates as hospice supportive caregivers.

Caregiver Feedback

Lydia Ikhine aspired to pursue a career in health care since young. Before joining Right at Home Boston and North in 2010 as a caregiver, she had worked for All Care VNA, Hospice and Home Care where she began her hospice care training.

”This is difficult but rewarding work,” says Ikhine. “Being able to spend the final days with someone is a real gift. I want to help as many people as I can during such a difficult time.” Ikhine completed the hospice care training in 2011.

”Hospice and palliative care intends to help patients feel comfortable and safe,” says Ikhine. “Everyone is unique and has a different end-of-life experience. The hospice training taught me a lot about myself and life in general. It discusses family relationships and what it meant to be with someone at the last stage of his/her life.”

Ikhine is currently attending Caldwell University in New Jersey to continue her medical training. Her goal is to pursue a career in nursing with a concentration in hospice care. She is expected to graduate in May, 2017.

About the Program Presenter Brenda Foster

An East Boston native, Brenda Foster, RN, joined Right at home Boston and North in 2009 as a part-time supervisory nurse and became the Director of Nursing in 2011. She oversees the clinical care of all our clients in the North Shore, Boston and Merrimack Valley regions. She also performs clinical assessments, devises and maintains our clients’ care plans, monitors the changing needs of our clients, supervises as well as provides orientation program to our caregivers and nursing staff.

Foster is a graduate of Lawrence Memorial / Regis College in Medford, Massachusetts with a Degree in Nursing. She had previously worked in Beverly Hospital in the North Shore region.


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