Hope Hospice is pledging an annual scholarship totaling $10,000 over four academic years to support nursing students and advocacy for education about the importance of hospice care. With locations in New Braunfels and Bulverde, Hope Hospice is dedicated to raising awareness about the critical need for and impact of hospice nurses.
“This partnership is a tremendous win-win for our community, since it supports our students while exposing them to the often overlooked field of hospice services,” said TLU Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations Theresa Cook Spiess '06. “Hope Hospice provides such an important role for our community, and we are delighted that their generosity extends to TLU Nursing.”
TLU Director of Nursing Dr. Amie Bedgood says students and new nursing graduates often have a narrow focus geared toward acute care because they want to refine their skills, sometimes overlooking hospice care as an option.
“There are so many other areas that nurses can have a positive impact on clients and their families and still refine their nursing skills,” she said. “During their final semester of nursing school, our students take a community health course where they rotate through hospice. This exposure is critical to the students getting experience in the hospice setting, a setting that students may not initially be thinking about as a career path. This experience can open their eyes toward hospice as a potential career path as they enter the nursing profession.”
Additionally, Bedgood says the scholarship will bring light to this area of nursing and potentially ignite an interest in novice nurses to embark on this very noble specialty.
“Since death is a part of life, it is imperative that nurses consider the care and interventions that patients and families need during the end of life,” she said. “The goal of hospice care is to prepare patients and families for a peaceful death. Hospice nurses have the unique ability to assess end-of-life phases to more effectively determine the care and interventions needed for the patient and family to achieve a peaceful death. As a result, hospice nurses are positioned to have a positive impact in the lives of patients and families who are experiencing a difficult transition from life here on earth.”
Hope Hospice CEO Nickie Drummond (MSN, RN, MBA) says they not only want to support local nursing students, but they want to tell their story and educate people about what the organization can do to address any myths or misconceptions about hospice they may encounter in the workplace.
“We want to come to the classroom setting, provide education on the hospice benefits, and ensure they are well informed to provide information to their patients, so they are allowed to make informed decisions,” she said. “Hospice and palliative education care aims to train nurses in hospice philosophy, terminal care skills, and professional reliability. We understand the time spent in school may be the only time they truly experience hospice and how hospice can assist and positively impact the patients' lives. The compassionate care they will see in hospice will translate to any health care setting they will find themselves in.”
Drummond also says that as a health care organization, they feel it is their duty to foster and support a well-rounded clinical experience for students studying in the field.
“Texas Lutheran University has created a program within our service area to support the overwhelming needs and vacancies in local health care,” she said. “We want to ensure that we too are supporting nursing students with opportunities for the betterment of themselves and our community by helping fund their education.”
Pictured at top from left to right: Brian Wallace ’06 (TLU Associate Director for Development), Heather Harrison (Hope Hospice Director of Business Development), Nickie Drummond (Hope Hospice CEO, (MBA, MSN, RN), Dr. Amie Bedgood (TLU Director of Nursing), Barbara Gomez (Hope Hospice Business Development Manager), and Kimberly Sanchez ’04 (Hope Hospice Operations & Development Coordinator).