A Day in the Life with a Hospice Nurse


From coordinating with caregivers, physicians and loved ones to providing observations and interacting with patients, Tina Spano’s plate is full of responsibilities each day.

But there’s one priority in everything she does: Make sure everyone is comfortable.

“I help to provide the best care for our patients by always treating them as if they were my loved one,” Tina says. 

Tina has been with Absolute Hospice for a year and a half as a case manager. She recognizes hospice can be challenging because no two patient journeys are alike. But she also enjoys helping each patient in their final stages.

“I am privileged to be an important part of the last chapter of many lives,” Tina says.

There’s no specific routine to her day, but Tina may have some planned regular visits with certain patients. Her time with patients may include reading aloud to them, offering a quiet presence, listening to music together, adjusting their position, administering medication, praying or changing their environment. One of her favorite things to do is take patients outside when it gets warmer.

It’s all a part of providing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual support during the dying process. Tina says she is typically able to disconnect emotionally with the process, but there are situations that become difficult to handle.

I’m fortunate to have a supportive and caring team of coworkers who are always available to talk it through and reflect on our purpose when a situation is heavy on my heart.
— Tina Spano

Interacting with a patient’s family is an important part of Tina’s role. She says families can rely on her for guidance and understanding on the changes their loved one is facing. She adds it becomes a challenge to interact with families who may not understand the intensity of care that is required for their loved one to remain at home.

Self-care has also become vital away from the job. Tina says she has reached the point in her career where hospice nurses often become burned out - to keep her passion fueled, she recognizes the need to keep work separate from her personal life.

“I've been getting lost in good books, have become more involved in church activities, have been cooking new things, and have been making time for old friends,” Tina says. “I'm also thinking more about the future and what my personal long-term goals are.”


Whitney PratherComment