Weekly Tips & Insights

Dottie Schonlau discusses her Caregiver award and the future of hospice nursing



What would you like to say about your recognition at last year’s VOYCE Caregiver awards?

Receiving the award was very much an honor. I was surprised and very happy. I was especially happy for VNA because all of us work very hard in our work, and it was great to be recognized.

Why did you become a hospice nurse?

Seventeen years ago I was doing patient infusion therapy, which required me to travel a lot. During this time, my 29-year old son died suddenly and it began to put things in perspective for me. I took a leave of absence from work, and I began to reflect on my life and how I wanted to use my talents. It was then I determined I wanted to spend my time helping others going through an end-of-life experience. So, when it was time to go back to work, I committed my skills and time to hospice nursing. I have been a hospice e nurse for 15 years and a nurse for 52 years. God has directed me to my work, and I know I am in the right place.

Do you have a favorite memory as a hospice nurse?

We’re a small company and we have had a lot of deaths in our hospice family. In my work, I have