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Are you or a loved one facing the end-of-life journey? Do you feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to expect? Have you ever wondered what it takes to find true fulfillment in your career? To have a job that not only pays the bills but also brings a sense of purpose and joy. Well, today we have a special treat for you. We had the privilege of interviewing Barbara Karnes, a seasoned expert in end-of-life care, who has dedicated her life to supporting individuals and their families during this delicate time.

Barbara’s Leap of Faith into Hospice

Picture this: you’ve just finished nursing school, the future’s a big question mark, and then, bam, one conversation changes everything. That’s Barbara’s story. After crossing paths with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, she found her life’s mission. Barbara’s evolution from a fresh nursing grad to a guiding light in hospice care is nothing short of inspiring. It’s a vivid reminder of how finding your passion can truly change the trajectory of your life and touch the lives of others.

During our conversation, Barbara shared some invaluable insights and tips for those navigating the world of hospice and end-of-life care.

Here are a few key takeaways:

Start researching hospices early

Barbara emphasized the importance of researching hospices from the moment of diagnosis. Don’t wait until the last minute to seek support. Reach out to different hospices, ask questions, and make an informed decision based on knowledge, not fear.

Understand the role of hospice:

Hospice care is not just about dying; it’s about helping individuals live their best lives within the constraints of their illness. Hospice focuses on treating the person, not just the disease, and provides comprehensive support for both the patient and their family.

Advocate for primary care nursing:

Barbara stressed the importance of having a consistent team of healthcare professionals, including a primary nurse, social worker, home health aide, and chaplain. Building a relationship and trust with these individuals can make a world of difference in the quality of care provided.

Consider the benefits of a hospice house:

Hospice houses offer a home-like environment where individuals can receive 24-hour nursing care, home health services, and emotional support. It’s essential to inquire about reimbursement options and whether private pay is accepted.

Explore the role of volunteers:

Hospice volunteers undergo extensive training and can provide invaluable support to both patients and their families. From direct patient care to office assistance, volunteers offer a range of services tailored to individual needs.

Now that you have gained some valuable insights from Barbara, it’s time to take action. If you or a loved one are facing end-of-life decisions, don’t hesitate to reach out to a hospice provider. Research different options, ask questions, and find a hospice that aligns with your needs and values. Remember, hospice care is about living until you’re not, and having the right support can make all the difference.

Barbara’s passion, and dedication to end-of-life care are truly inspiring. Her journey serves as a reminder that finding purpose in our work is possible, and that by embracing the beauty of life’s final chapter, we can make a profound impact on those we serve. So, let’s follow Barbara’s lead and approach end-of-life care with compassion, understanding, and a commitment to making every moment count.

If you enjoyed this conversation with Barbara as much as we did, follow her on Instagram or visit her website.

Bonus: End of Life Guideline Series Bundle to help you through this journey.

Don’t forget to share with your friends the tips you learned and check out our other episodes!

John & Erin