Graduation Date


Document Type

Campus Access Only Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Director of the Honors Program

Gigi Gokcek, PhD

First Reader

Luanne Linnard-Palmer, EdD, RN

Second Reader

Kathleen Beebe, PhD, RN


The Hospice nurse’s role in directly facing reality and collaborating with the patient, family, and caregivers provide a large impact on alleviating the anxiety associated with the hospice patient’s dying process. The hospice nurse’s role involves “effective education and ongoing support of the family and other caregivers given the limited time the hospice aides or nurses are able to spend in the home” (Meier, McCormick, & Lagman, 2017).

Not only do nurses “have the ability to anticipate signs of deterioration as well as signposts for medication or equipment that impacts on quality of life,” but also to influence patient, family, and caregiver education and independence in alleviating anxiety regarding dying processes (Jack, Louise, O’Brien, 2016, p. 2167).

With intimate, sensitive conversations between the hospice nurse and family caregivers, these are the moments where a close, unique relationship develops, as the hospice patient and family caregivers “sense that the nurses can, holistically, understand an individual’s situation which ensures that the patient’s needs and wishes remain central” (Jack, Louise, & O’Brien, 2016, p. 2167). In addition, the process of acknowledging “a permanent change in one’s life” to be free of “an emotional weight of unrest and turmoil” to promote “healing and growth” is the opening in which hospice nurses especially can communicate with family members (Lowey, 2008).

It is through the sharing, conversation, and discussion that hospice nurses can support patients, family members, and caregivers through a vulnerable and existential time period in life. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to investigate the perception of hospice nurse’s reports of best practices for educating hospice patients and their caregivers on the dying process. This senior honors student will share the results of a pilot project titled “Hospice Nurse’s Perceptions of Family Education and Dying Support Best Practices” at the Dominican Scholarly and Creative Works Conference on April 19, 2018.

Off-campus Download