Mollie Hoffmeyer, RN is a nurse in the hospice program at the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis (VNA). She is passionate about building relationships with both patients and fellow staff members as part of her work and sees that as a central part of her duties as a hospice nurse.
Finding a Career through VNA
Prior to landing her role as a hospice nurse, Mollie ran bar at a community restaurant in St. Charles as she finished her nursing degree. It was a very friendly environment, and it taught her the value of friendliness as a virtue in the workplace. She would often ask people in scrubs that came into the restaurant about their work and consistently heard about St. Luke’s, where she went on to work bedside on the neuroscience floor after getting her nursing degree.
She soon realized this wasn’t what she felt called to do long-term and wanted to find something more specialized. Nursing is a vast field, which she didn’t realize until she had gotten deeper into it. A friend of hers was a hospice nurse, so Mollie picked her brain, shadowed her for a year and decided it was something she was interested in pursuing. While searching for open positions, she discovered VNA, and after getting the job, it was clear that it had the friendly environment she valued.
What Are Hospice Nurse Duties?
Mollie’s main day-to-day hospice nurse duties revolve around being the eyes and ears of the physicians through assessments. People want to focus on the positive when it comes to medical care, but often Mollie and the other hospice nurses have to be in-tune with changes that are small and point toward decline. These assessments also include making sure that patients are well taken care of and checking in with family members to make sure they’re coping.
Building Strong Relationships
“A lot of what we do is build meaningful, healthy relationships,” says Mollie.
This is at the core of her care philosophy, and it informs how she interacts with patients and families every day. As opposed to bedside nursing where you’re doing more hands-on work, her role at VNA as a hospice nurse is very collaborative, sharing responsibilities with private duty staff, family members and caregivers. Building strong relationships with each of those groups is key.
“Our team does a really good job of collectively caring for [patients] thoroughly, even if it isn’t one of their regulars,” says Mollie. “Nobody is dismissive toward families’ needs or emotions, and being receptive to that is important and requires having strong relationships.”
Regarding patient relationships, Mollie loves to talk to patients and make them smile.
“I’m a talker, so they really enjoy when I come because I can talk their ears off,” says Mollie. “I love making patients smile. Sometimes, family members will say they aren’t having a good day, but you can see a glimmer of happiness during your visit. It feels good knowing that in dark times, you can be that little light and spread some joy.”
Interested in joining the VNA team? Check out the latest job openings, including Hospice RN, at https://www.vnastl.com/careers